Wednesday October 12, 2005
Louisville a Leader in New Lifesaving Approach
Mayor Jerry Abramson today announced that Louisville is one of a handful of U.S. cities chosen by the American Heart Association to lead an innovative approach to teaching people the lifesaving skills of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) at home.
The goal of the project, Hands to Heart Louisville, is to train 15,000 people in CPR within a few months. This would more than double the number of people in Louisville who know this basic lifesaving skill.
“In an effort to save seconds and save lives, Louisville has invested millions of dollars in MetroSafe to improve emergency communications, consolidated emergency medical services and put more EMTs on the streets,” said Abramson. “This new program adds the citizens of our hometown to our team and gives them a way to help us save the lives of people they love.”
The city, with funding support from the American Heart Association and Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Kentucky, will distribute 2,500 to 3,000 training kits - which include a step-by-step tutorial on CPR and a practice mannequin – to targeted groups free of charge.
“Eighty percent of cardiac arrests happen in the home and the survival rate is less than ten percent if CPR is not performed within eight minutes of an attack,” said Dr. Neal Richmond, CEO of Louisville Metro Emergency Medical Services, who will lead the project. “This is not about being a hero or saving a stranger’s life. If you learn CPR, you will most likely help a family member or a friend in need.”
The American Heart Association’s new approach to teaching CPR at home gives people who don’t seek traditional training classes offered by groups another option.
“We understand many people have busy lives with work and family,” said Jennifer Livi, Midwest Director of Emergency Cardiovascular Care Programs for the American Heart Association. “This new tool teaches the basics of CPR and makes it easy to learn and remember the steps.”
These kits will be distributed in the next few months, at no charge, to three target populations in this community:
· women, because they are more likely to make healthcare decisions in the family
· minorities, a group that is disproportionately affected by heart disease
· families of cardiac patients , who face an increased risk of future heart attacks
The Louisville Metro Office of Women will help reach out to women’s clubs and civic groups, the Louisville Metro Health Department will distribute kits to a network of African-American churches and the Jefferson County Medical Society will distribute kits to families of cardiac patients through local doctors.
“We want to redefine CPR in this community – to help people Care, Prepare and Respond,” said Abramson.
Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Kentucky contributed $35,000, which paid for the majority of the kits.
AHA and Louisville Metro Health Department also purchased kits. “We are proud to be the corporate sponsor for the Hands to Heart Louisville initiative and support the goals of ensuring that many groups who have a higher rate of heart attacks will receive the training they need to respond to an emergency situation,” said Jude Thompson, president and CEO of Anthem Blue Cross–Blue Shield of Kentucky.
For more information about how to participate in Hands to Heart Louisville, call 574-4343 or MetroCall at 311. The American Heart Association also has kits available for $29.95 or will help residents enroll in traditional CPR classes. Call 1-877-AHA-4CPR or log on to www.cpranytime.org. Hands to Heart Louisville CPR Facts
· Less than 10% of Americans know how to perform CPR
· 80% of cardiac arrests occur in the home
· If a person experiencing a cardiac episode does not receive CPR within eight minutes of an attack, the survival rate is less than 10%
· Louisville Metro will distribute 2,500 to 3,000 training kits to three targeted groups free of charge: women, minorities and families of cardiac patients
· The goal is to train 15,000 people in a matter of months, doubling the number of people in Louisville who know how to perform CPR
· If residents would like more information about how to participate in Hands to Heart Louisville, they may call 574-4343 or MetroCall at 311
· The American Heart Association has kits available for $29.95 or will help residents enroll in traditional CPR classes. Call 1-877-AHA-4CPR or log on to www.cpranytime.org.