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October is Sudden Cardiac Awareness Month - Is Your Family Prepared for an Emergency?


Guest Blogger: Nicole Olmstead, Government Relations Director, Arizona

Did you know that October is Sudden Cardiac Awareness Month? Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occurs when the heart’s electrical system abruptly malfunctions and the heart suddenly stops beating. The only thing standing between life and death is immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until emergency personnel arrive. For every minute without life-saving CPR, chances of survival decrease by 7-10% and less than 10% of SCA victims survive the event.

Imagine you are one of the 5,000 people in Maricopa County who will suffer a SCA this year.  In our imaginary scenario, you are at home after a long day at work preparing dinner and you suddenly collapse.  Would your family know what to do? Unfortunately, roughly 70% of Americans feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they either do not know how to administer CPR or they are simply afraid to act.  In our scenario, your family may know to call 9-1-1, but without the CPR training, this may be the last time they see you alive.

However, your eight grader, who received CPR training in class during the school year, suddenly springs into action.  He or she begins Hands Only CPR on you to the beat of Stayin’ Alive, and continues until emergency personnel get there.  The only reason that you survive is because someone around you knew how to respond.  Now, instead of planning a funeral, you and your family can continue to experience life’s precious moments like graduations, weddings, and grandchildren.

Take time this month to learn Hands Only CPR.  It takes less than 2 minutes and you never know when you might need it or who you may need to save.  The life you save could be the life of someone you love. 

If you are interested in seeing how you can help our efforts, please contact Nicole Olmstead at [email protected] or contact your Grassroots Director Josh Brown.

~Pictured Above: Flat Mollie (a poster) laid lifeless on the Mississippi Capitol lobby floor while passersby paused a minute to reflect on the nearby sign, "If this was your loved one, would you know what to do?"

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