By FireRescue1 Staff
According to the American Heart Association, 166,000 people die from sudden cardiac arrest each year. Only about 6 percent of patients who suffer from cardiac arrest out-of-hospital survive.
Congress has designated the first week of June as the inaugural National CPR and AED Awareness Week in hopes of increasing awareness of lifesaving skills in the general public.
Now is the time for EMS providers to implement an educational program or teaching class in the local community. Effective CPR and early defibrillation can double and even triple survival rates. An educated and informed lay person can greatly improve survival before an ambulance even arrives.
Start by talking to your local medical facility or state health department to see about hosting a joint public event.
Visit the American Heart Association for resources and implementation ideas. For a list of participating American Red Cross chapters, visit the Red Cross Web site.