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Happy six months, Louisiana!

February 1 marked the start of American Heart Month - the American Heart Association’s month-long campaign to engage individuals and communities across the country to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease and our mission to be a relentless force for longer, healthier lives. Here in Louisiana, February 1 also marked the six-month anniversary of implementing statewide Telephone CPR. 

Please take a moment to thank your legislators for supporting this life-saving policy!

Cardiac Arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States. Every year almost 326,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States, and of this figure an estimated 6,300 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen to children. Only 10% of victims who suffer a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting survive, largely in part because many victims do not receive timely CPR or AED application.

Nearly 4 out of 5 sudden cardiac arrests happen at home and are witnessed by a loved one. The life that is saved by CPR could be a loved one. A mom, a dad, maybe even a child. But 70% of Americans feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they don’t know how to administer CPR. Timely administration of Hands-Only CPR can double or triple survival rates!

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hero_image_alt_text===Help, I need somebody! TCPR could save your life.
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thumbnail_alt_text===Female calls 911 for collapsed male

Louisiana Fire and Rescue responded to XX people who suffered a cardiac arrest in [date]. Only X% of those people received bystander CPR; while nationally, only 45.9% of witnessed cardiac arrests receive CPR from a bystander, prior to Emergency Medical Services’ (EMS) arrival. With EMS response times exceeding 10 minutes in many areas in Louisiana, it is not surprising that only 10% of sudden cardiac arrest victims survive the event.

That’s why the American Heart Association worked hard over the past five years to pass two policies that will increase the likelihood of bystanders responding appropriately in cardiac emergencies.

In 2014, we passed CPR in Schools legislation to ensure high-school students learned how to perform CPR and use an AED in the event of a cardiac arrest. We know that high school students can learn CPR techniques and retain the information for the rest of their life. We know that people who know CPR techniques will use them in cardiac emergencies. 

With the CPR in Schools policy in place to train the next generation of lifesavers, we were ready in 2018 to make it easier for adults, and anyone not trained in CPR, to respond to cardiac emergencies. As such, last year we passed Telephone CPR legislation that requires 911 dispatchers to provide CPR instructions to callers when responding to cardiac arrest situations. Senate Bill 264 was enacted six months ago on August 1, 2018.

These life-saving measures would not be possible with the support of You're the Cure advocates! Your stories and outreach to legislators truly make a difference. 

As we celebrate American Heart Month, and the six-month anniversary of Telephone CPR, click here to thank your lawmakers for their support! 

Josh Brown, Grassroots Manager, contributed to the article.

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