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Quality and Value of Care

Quality and Value of Care

Improving the way a patient moves through each stage of care can dramatically improve outcomes.

Did you know that in the United States someone dies from cardiovascular disease every 40 seconds? Or that in that same 40 seconds someone suffers a stroke? Time is of the essence in treating cardiovascular and stroke conditions. Yet in far too many cases a fragmented care system prevents patients from receiving the treatments that can save their lives.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death in the United States. But when ordinary people, not just doctors and EMTs, are equipped with the skills to perform CPR and use AEDs, the survival rate can double -- or even triple.

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association advocates are working to reverse these trends by supporting:

Systems of Care for Acute Cardiovascular Conditions
This is especially important with acute cardiovascular conditions like ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) heart attacks, sudden cardiac arrest and stroke. However, time and again many patients do not receive adequate care because ambulances and hospitals are not properly equipped.

We advocate for 911 systems that are prepared to provide appropriate medical guidance over the phone and quickly dispatch emergency personnel; Emergency Medical Services (EMS) that are adequately equipped and trained on how to effectively triage and treat heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest and stroke patients; and hospitals that are able to quickly and effectively treat the patient utilizing guidelines-based therapies and technologies.

Stroke
If treatment is sought within the first 3 to 4.5 hours of possible stroke symptoms the clot-dissolving drug tPA can significantly reduce disability. Unfortunately only 3 – 6% of eligible stroke patients receive this therapy.

We support subacute stroke care that can help reduce the risk of death by 40%. We advocate for systems of stroke care like patient rehabilitation that support victims from symptom onset all the way through recovery.

CPR in Schools
We support state policies that would require all students be trained in CPR prior to high school graduation. Training students in CPR can be accomplished with a minimal investment in time and cost. In less time than it takes to watch the average sitcom, students can learn this life-saving skill. Right now, more than two2 million students will be trained every year, but we have more work to do. Pledge your support for teaching all students to be CPR smart at www.BeCPRSmart.org today!

Timely Response to Cardiac Arrest 
Every minute without CPR and an AED means up to a 10% decrease in the chance of surviving SCA. We advocate for greater research into the underlying causes of SCA, increasing the number of people trained in CPR and AED usage, establishing medical emergency response plans in schools, and expanding access to AEDs.

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