County aims to train one million people in CPR

At a press conference on Feb. 26, 2024, the County of San Diego Emergency Medical Services and the Herbert Wert­heim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at University of California San Diego offered a hands-only CPR training and announced Re­vive & Survive San Diego, a new initiative created to save lives by training 1 million San Diegans in hands-only CPR to create a coalition of lifesavers in San Diego County. Local public health, public safety, business, education and community orga­nizations have partnered with Revive & Survive San Diego to offer free hands-only CPR train­ing and perform community outreach across all corners of San Diego County.

“The Revive & Survive San Diego initiative is a perfect example of how a strong aca­demic-community partnership can lead to changing and sav­ing lives,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla in a press release. “Imagine the im­pact of 1 million San Diegans performing hands-only CPR. It is an ambitious goal, but I have no doubt that we can achieve it if we work together.”

In 2021, 48 percent of people who experienced an out-of-hos­pital cardiac arrest in San Di­ego County received CPR before first responders arrived. More lives could be saved if more people received immediate CPR.

“Cardiac arrest continues to be a leading cause of death across the country,” stated Kristi Koenig, M.D., County of San Diego Emergency Medical Services medical director and co-lead of the Revive & Sur­vive San Diego initiative. “No amount of preparedness in a hospital can save a life if the person does not make it into the building. Receiving CPR at the scene will save lives.”

Cardiopulmonary resuscita­tion saves lives, like that of Rob­ert Hoadley.

At 41 years old, Hoadley was in peak physical condi­tion, training to join the United States Navy Reserves when, without warning, his heart stopped, and he collapsed at work.

In most cases, people expe­riencing sudden cardiac arrest are nowhere near a hospital. Ac­cording to the American Heart Association, 90 percent of these people die. However, applying immediate cardiopulmonary re­suscitation can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.

Hoadley’s coworkers were prepared to act. They immedi­ately began chest compressions, called for an automated exter­nal defibrillator and dialed 911. Emergency responders arrived approximately eight minutes later.

“By reacting quickly and per­forming CPR, they sustained blood to my brain until the paramedics arrived and they took me to the hospital. They saved my life,” said Hoadley. “The benefit of bystander CPR is that anyone can help. Anyone can be a hero. Every minute I am alive now is a gift.”

In recent years, CPR train­ing has transitioned to a hands-only approach. Mouth-to-mouth breathing is no longer essential for saving a life. Hands-only CPR has been shown to be as effective and requires only two easy steps. First, call 911. Sec­ond, perform compressions on a bare chest at 100 to 120 beats per minute.

“We are sending a message that it is not just medical pro­fessionals and first respond­ers that can save a life. We all have a responsibility to be there for a family member, friend or stranger when they need us the most,” said retired Criss Brain­ard, fire chief, San Diego Coun­ty Fire Chiefs Association.

For every minute without CPR, survival from cardiac ar­rest decreases by 7 to 10 per­cent.

For more information about Revive & Survive San Diego, in­cluding opportunities for CPR training, becoming a communi­ty partner and supporting the initiative, visit revivesurvive.


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