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Three North Dakota Communities Receive Cardiac Ready Designation

The Rugby, Mayville-Portland and Valley City communities achieved the Cardiac Ready Community designation, a community-led initiative that seeks to prepare the entire community to be ready to aid anyone in need of assistance in the event of a heart-related emergency. The Cardiac Ready program is designed to promote survival from a cardiac event, such as sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), that occurs outside of the hospital setting.

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The Cardiac Ready Communities project is a partnership of the North Dakota Department of Health’s Division of Emergency Medical Systems and the American Heart Association through the North Dakota Cardiac System of Care. Communities in other states that have done similar projects have seen their survivor rates of cardiac arrest increase dramatically.

“Survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is extremely variable throughout the United States with many communities averaging low survival rates of ten percent or less. Trained communities can increase the survivability as much as 50 percent,” says Shila Thorson, ND State Stroke Cardiac System Coordinator. “With now four cities, including Powers Lake, receiving their designation and many others in the works, I can’t wait to see how many lives will be impacted and even saved because of these efforts.”

Rugby, Mayville-Portland and Valley City have achieved the set of minimum criteria to receive the North Dakota Cardiac Ready Community status. The criteria support the chain of survival, such as CPR instruction, public access to AEDs, hypertension screenings, and resuscitation protocols and transport plans for first responders and area hospitals.

Below are the leaders for each of these Cardiac Ready Communities.
• Rugby: Ken Reed
• Mayville-Portland: Stefan Hofer & Doris Vigen
• Valley City: Alana Wendel & Camille Settelmeyer

A North Dakota Cardiac Ready Community Designation is valid for three years, at which time the communities will need to renew the designation.

So far, four communities have received the Cardiac Ready Community designation. Twenty-two other communities have expressed intent to become Cardiac Ready. For more information on becoming a Cardiac Ready Community, contact Shila Thorson, North Dakota Department of Health, at 701.328.2270 or visit cardiacreadynd.org.

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