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The Cardiac Ready stakeholders held a kick-off event to coincide the annual Evening in the Park and Pets in the Park celebration in Oakes on August 16th. This kick off event was held to officially notify Oakes and area residents of the efforts that will be made in future months to work toward Cardiac Ready Community designation!
Events held during the kick-off and Evening in the Park included;
- Blood pressure screening clinic held in which 42 individuals had their blood pressures checked
- Over 50 individuals learned the 2 simple steps of hands-only CPR
- Several of the nearly 400 attendees viewed the LUCAS mechanical CPR device in action
- A tent with display of cardiac and stroke educational pamphlets and materials
- Provided watermelon and healthy trail mix and chex mix for attendees
- Ambulance tours and answered questions about emergency services and hospital services
The Cardiac Ready stakeholder group will continue to raise awareness of their mission to become designated throughout this fall and winter. There will be additional blood pressure screening events along with; promotion of hands-only CPR, free or reduced CPR certification classes, additional AED (defibrillators) placed in the community, and more awareness of what citizens can do in a medical emergency!
8 slide show photos of the kick-off event. A short video is posted at the bottom of the page of the Kick-Off Event!
The goal of the Cardiac Ready Community Project is to help communities in North Dakota improve their cardiovascular health and increase the chance that individuals suffering from cardiovascular emergencies will have the best chance of survival. This program promotes the American Heart Association Chain of Survival, which can improve the chance of survival and recovery for victims of heart attack, stroke, and other emergencies. It is important to raise the awareness of signs and symptoms of a cardiovascular emergency (heart attack, stroke or sudden cardiac arrest); having residents activate the 9-1-1 system for these emergencies, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and have public access to Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).
The North Dakota Cardiac Ready Community Designation has a set of minimum criteria a community must achieve in order to receive the status. The criteria support the chain of survival, such as CPR instruction, public access to AEDs, blood pressure screenings, resuscitation protocols and transport plans for EMS and area hospitals.
Community leaders in Oakes are working on a number of steps to meet the established criteria, such as;
1. Analyzing our community: We are reviewing the criteria to determine our strengths and weaknesses, reviewing our assets to determine needs, deciding what elements of the chain of survival we need to improve upon, evaluating our CPR instruction program and the number of AEDs in the community, and analyzing the survival rate in our community from a cardiac arrest event.
2. Building a support team: Our community needs a team responsible for leading and organizing what is needed to meet the designation criteria. Implementing this program isn't possible without many parties committing to the cause. If you are interested in being a part of the team please give us a call at 742-3244 or drop us an email.
3. Beginning an on-going community awareness campaign: Many people wait 2 hours or more to seek medical assistance after experiencing symptoms of a heart attack. Further, countless people travel to the ER by personal vehicle. Both of these issues are contributing factors to the high mortality rate with heart attacks. An awareness campaign not only includes information on how a person can reduce their risk of a cardiovascular event, but just as importantly what to do should it occur. Currently we are sharing more information about this program as well as providing helpful resources for cardiovascular conditions. Awareness information will be shared in the newspaper, radio, signs in various businesses, and a kick off event will be held in August!
4. Community blood pressure control program: The leading risk factor for cardiac and stroke events is high blood pressure. CHECK-CHANGE-CONTROL = Checking your blood pressure, changing your lifestyle with physical activity and healthy food choices, and working with your health provider to control your hypertension. A number of healthcare professionals will be trained in Oakes to conduct blood pressure screening clinics and to counsel and/or refer those with high blood pressure recordings.
5. CPR and AED training: Having community members, law enforcement, and fire fighters trained in high quality CPR as well as being equipped with an AED decreases the time from initial collapse to having a shock delivered to the heart. The Oakes Ambulance will offer more community CPR training as well as a quick review of hands-only CPR at various community events.
6. Public access AED location: Cardiac arrest victims who receive immediate CPR and an AED shock within 3 to 5 minutes have a much higher chance of surviving. Public access AEDs must be deployed in target areas throughout the community. We are currently assessing the locations of our current 19 AEDs and evaluating additional locations. We will also be reporting these locations to the dispatch center and publishing a map of the AED locations.
7. Emergency Medical Services and Hospital Services: Having a well-trained EMS service and a hospital prepared for cardiac and stroke emergencies is critical. It is our goal to have healthcare professionals well trained in high performance CPR and AED use, acquiring a pre-hospital 12 lead EKG, proficient use of the automated LUCAS CPR device, training on signs and symptoms of stroke and cardiac events, and a robust performance improvement (PI) process that improves performance when reviewing patient outcomes. It is also critical that EMS and hospital work together on established protocols for stabilizing and transferring patients by appropriate means.
8. Program evaluation: To insure that this program is implemented and utilized effectively, annual reviews of the system needs to occur. We will frequently review elements of the program and that goals are being met and addressed appropriately.