September 26, 2012
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, CO—American Medical Response (AMR) has joined the HeartRescue Project, Medtronic Foundation’s $20 million commitment to reducing sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) deaths in the United States. The HeartRescue Project assembles the country’s leading emergency and resuscitation experts and is designed to improve survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest across geographic regions served by the project partners. AMR is participating in the multi-year initiative, partnering with some of the nation’s leading resuscitation experts at the Universities of Arizona, Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Washington and Duke University.
SCA is a leading cause of death in United States, affecting nearly 400,000 Americans each year. The overall survival rate for SCA in the U.S. averages 10% in communities that measure this key statistic. The rate has improved very little over the last 30 years.
“The goal of the HeartRescue partners is to increase survival in our geographies by 50% over these five years,” says Lynn White, national director of resuscitation and accountable care for AMR, and the education director for the HeartRescue Project. “We know our goal is achievable because there are a handful of communities in the U.S. that already have achieved those rates and we want to do everything we can to ensure that all communities attain the highest survival rates achievable.”
HeartRescue partners will work toward this goal by developing and expanding SCA response systems. Each partner is working to improve SCA survival rates by engaging with local communities and implementing measurable, evidence-based best practices among citizen bystanders, pre-hospital responders such as police, fire and EMS, and in hospitals.
As the largest EMS provider in the United States, AMR responds to about 25,000 sudden cardiac arrests each year in over 2,000 communities. The grant was specifically made to AMR’s nonprofit education and research foundation to implement local community initiatives known to improve sudden cardiac arrest survival. AMR is providing significant in-kind support in the form of oversight, manpower and resources to ensure that those community initiatives are supported, executed and sustained.
“SCA touches a vast number of people within a variety of geographies,” says Dr. Ed Racht, AMR’s chief medical officer. “Given our reach, we embrace the responsibility to promote a model system of care for SCA, bringing resources and data to together to support the mission of improving SCA survival.”
Launched in 2011, the HeartRescue Project is designed to improve how SCA is recognized, treated and measured in the United States. The original five HeartRescue Project partners have made notable progress in the inaugural year. The new HeartRescue Project partners will join the five states already working to help educate people everywhere about the effects of SCA and the importance of timely bystander response. All partners are working toward developing a network of EMS providers and hospitals that agree to collect the same data, and are starting to put the data into a shared system.
“These partners have accepted a shared challenge to improve cardiac arrest survival by 50 percent over five years in their geographies,” says Joan Mellor, the Medtronic Foundation’s HeartRescue program manager. “Across states, they are busy developing and expanding sudden cardiac arrest response systems. In just a little over a year, all five states are covering at least 50 percent of their population in terms of outcomes data collection. That’s a big step in theright direction.”