Hearts on the Hill 2024

Last week more than 200 American Heart Association advocates and staff flew to Washington, D.C. to meet with their federal lawmakers. Attendees included cardiac arrest survivors, families who have lost a loved one to cardiac arrest, cardiovascular disease patients, health care providers and other grassroots advocates from across the country.

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They joined us at the Capitol to ask Members of Congress to support policies that would help ensure students, staff and visitors in schools are prepared to respond to a cardiac emergency. Each year more than 356,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital in this country. Unfortunately, only 10% will survive. CPR, if performed immediately, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. It is estimated that up to 23,000 children under the age of 18 will suffer cardiac arrest each year. In schools with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), 70% of those children survive – 7 times the overall survival rate for children.

We met with lawmakers to discuss legislation including the HEARTS Act and Access to AEDs Act. Both bipartisan bills would extend access to AEDs, increase CPR training and enable the creation of cardiac emergency response plans in schools nationwide. On behalf of everyone at the American Heart Association, we want to thank the advocates who joined us in Washington, D.C. They had hundreds of meetings with elected officials and their staff, and made a tremendous impact in support of these lifesaving policies.

Both pieces of legislation are getting closer to becoming law. You, and thousands of other advocates have been pushing Congress to act. You can click here to call your representatives and ask for their support.

Advocates in DC

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