The Citizen CPR Foundation’s 40 Under 40 Committee released a video featuring sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survivors under 40 years of age. The video highlights the fact that sudden cardiac arrest can strike anyone, at any age, at any time—and that it should not be confused with a heart attack.
“There are too many people outside of our field who don’t understand the difference between a heart attack and a sudden cardiac arrest. Sadly, this also means they probably don’t know how to respond when it happens right in front of them—often to someone they know or love dearly,” says Stu Berger, MD, foundation president and head of the cardiology division at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
“One of the first issues the 40 Under 40 committee decided to work on after being formed in 2020 is sudden cardiac arrest awareness,” says officer Brandon Griffith, 40 under 40 committee member, SCA survivor, and project lead on the video production. “This video was created to educate the public on cardiac arrest and inspire them to act if/when the time comes. I was 26 years old when I suffered my cardiac arrest. I was saved by my wife and a fellow police officer who both did incredible CPR until fire/EMS could arrive and successfully resuscitate me. I am alive today earning my second chance at life because my wife and the responding officer did not hesitate to act.”
Griffith continues, “We feature actual out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest survivors under the age of 40 to not only tackle stigmas of SCA but to highlight that it can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime. With cardiac arrest, every second counts. Knowing how to recognize SCA and properly react can significantly increase survival outcomes.”
The video stresses and plays out the chain of survival steps necessary to save the life of someone suffering SCA: Call 9-1-1, start compressions hard and fast in the center of the chest, use an AED if available, and don’t stop until first responders arrive and take over medical care. In other words, “Don’t wait, ACT!” as the video highlights.
The video was released in conjunction with World Restart a Heart day Oct. 16, a worldwide call to action issued by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation.
Founded in 1987, the mission of Citizen CPR Foundation is to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest by stimulating effective community, professional and citizen action. Every two years, the foundation holds its international Cardiac Arrest Survival Summit, formerly the Emergency Cardiovascular Care Update (ECCU), which features the latest information and trends in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). They will host their first-ever Virtual Summit December 8–9, 2020.