Fairfield Medical Center and Community Heart Watch – a committee dedicated to raising awareness and improving survival rates of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) – recently received a $9,950 grant from the Fairfield County Foundation that will be used for education and the purchase of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for the community.
“Our grant application focused on putting more lifesaving AEDs in areas of need across Fairfield County, and we’re grateful to the Foundation for helping make that goal a reality,” shared John Lazarus, MD, PhD, Community Heart Watch Clinical Champion and interventional cardiologist at FMC. “When it comes to SCA, a matter of minutes can be the difference between life and death. AEDs are especially important in rural areas where EMS have to travel farther – having devices accessible in these communities will improve a victim’s chance of survival significantly.”
Affecting more than 350,000 people each year, SCA occurs when the heart abruptly and unexpectedly stops beating, leading to collapse and loss of respiratory function. Without immediate bystander intervention, only one in 10 victims is expected to survive. The timely use of an AED and chest compressions can double or triple those chances of survival.
“To improve survival, it is critical that community members who witness a SCA call 911 immediately, and then start CPR and locate the closest AED while waiting for EMS to arrive,” said Brad Smith, Community Heart Watch EMS Champion and Greenfield Township Fire Chief. “Community Heart Watch has partnered with a free app called PulsePoint AED that helps you find the location of defibrillators in the community. Knowing the location of these AEDs, and taking the time to learn CPR, are crucial tools that can help you save a life.”
Community Heart Watch is made up of local healthcare workers, first responders, and business leaders who are committed to raising awareness about SCA while increasing access to lifesaving education and equipment, such as AEDs and hands-only CPR training. To learn more about CPR training opportunities, contact FMC community educator Resa Tobin at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in obtaining an AED for your local business or becoming accredited as a Heart Safe Business, please contact Teri Watson at email@example.com or by calling 740-687-6929.