Each year, over 350,000 cardiac arrests take place outside of a hospital in the United States. Nearly 90% of all cardiac arrests occur in someone’s home. Cardiac arrests can occur when the heart stops beating or beats ineffectively to circulate blood to the brain and other vital organs. They typically affect men in their early 60’s and women in their late 60’s. However, men suffer from cardiac arrests twice as often as women.

According to the National Institutes of Health, early bystander CPR can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival after cardiac arrest. Studies have shown that the average time between a call to first responders and their arrival on the scene is approximately 7-8 minutes. During those critical minutes, survival rates after cardiac arrest significantly decline. Additional information can be found at https://cpr.heart.org/en/training-programs/cpr-and-aed-awareness/cpr-and-aed-awareness-week

When someone is in distress, initial steps are critical. Step one is always calling 911, step two is to begin administering CPR. Unfortunately, bystanders are reluctant to perform CPR on someone for a number of reasons: fear of legal ramifications, fear of hurting the patient, lack of confidence and fear of breath rescues, among others. 

Medstar CEO, Kolby Miller, a paramedic for 35 years, encourages everyone to learn CPR, either in-person or online, and to have an AED (automated external defibrillator) installed in their churches, schools, workplaces, and any other gathering location. “Medstar recognizes community AED placement as the most important component of increasing cardiac arrest survival throughout our nine-county service area. Our Shock and Save program provides AEDs and CPR training throughout our service area, and our fundraising efforts help us double our contribution. The more AEDs we can get into the community, the more lives will be saved.” 

AED donation requests and purchase information can be submitted through Medstar’s website at www.medstarambulance.org, as well as information about the Shock and Save program. Miller states that the cost of AEDs is significantly lower than in the past, and the relative ease of use and critical impact on outcomes makes them as important as fire extinguishers in any facility. 

About Medstar

Medstar is Michigan’s largest 911 EMS and mobile healthcare provider, serving more than 190,000 patients annually throughout lower Michigan. Created in 1993 by two local hospitals committed to quality EMS, the nonprofit agency now serves communities in nine counties. It provides care, air medical, and interfacility clinical transportation for Ascension-Michigan, Henry Ford Health, and the McLaren Healthcare Corporation. For more information, visit www.medstarambulance.org.

For additional information, contact Medstar Public Information Officer, Patrick Linabury,at plinabury@medstarambulance.org or 586.738.9166                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

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