01:41am Wednesday 13 December 2017

American Heart Association bolsters commitment to improving cardiac arrest survival

The Institute of Medicine report, “Strategies to Improve Cardiac Arrest Survival: A Time to Act (2015),” outlines eight ways to improve survival from cardiac arrest. The American Heart Association (AHA) supports the IOM report, recognizing the opportunity and call to action it creates to meaningfully improve outcomes for cardiac arrest. Continuing its dedication to saving lives, AHA today announced several new commitments that will strengthen a Resuscitation Learning Health System to increase public awareness, improve data collection and drive funding for AHA programs.

Cardiac arrest is an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and disrupts the flow of blood to the brain, lungs and other organs. More than 500,000 cardiac arrests occur annually in- and out-of-hospital in the United States and only about 10 percent of out-of-hospital victims survive, according to the American Heart Association.

The AHA already supports the IOM’s recommendations with CPR programs to educate the public as well as quality improvement efforts to help hospitals improve delivery of care and survival from cardiac events. This new IOM report will help accelerate the AHA’s goal of doubling cardiac arrest survival, which will save an additional 50,000 cardiac arrest victims each year, according to CEO Nancy Brown.

“The American Heart Association has been a leader in helping communities strengthen the chain of survival for decades, but more must be done to save more lives,” Brown said. “We need novel and innovative approaches to improve survival at national, state and local levels. That’s why we applaud the IOM for calling for a culture of action and for their unbiased and authoritative advice on critical health issues facing our country. Over the years IOM recommendations on a number of topics have helped our mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.”

The report outlines eight recommendations to improve survival from sudden cardiac arrest.

  • Establish a national cardiac arrest registry.

  • Foster a culture of action through public awareness and training.

  • Enhance the capabilities and performance of EMS systems.

  • Set national accreditation standards related to cardiac arrest for hospitals and health care systems.

  • Adopt continuous quality improvement programs.

  • Accelerate research on pathophysiology, new therapies, and translation of science for cardiac arrest.

  • Accelerate research on the evaluation and adoption of cardiac arrest therapies.

  • Create a national cardiac arrest collaborative.

“We are a leader in resuscitation science, training over 16 million people per year in CPR, first aid and advanced cardiovascular care around the world through our programs and awareness campaigns. We recognize our role in responding to the IOM’s recommendations,” said Robert W. Neumar, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of the University of Michigan Medical School’s Department of Emergency Medicine. “Not only do we support the IOM report, but we are prepared to act quickly to amplify its important message and drive implementation of its recommendations by partnering with key stakeholders to create solutions that will improve survival,” said Neumar, who also serves as chair of the AHA’s Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee.

The American Heart Association issued a special report outlining its bolstered commitment to improving survival from cardiac arrest. It includes:

  • Providing up to $5 million over 5 years to incentivize resuscitation data collection and sharing;

  • Pursuing philanthropic support for local and regional implementation opportunities to increase cardiac arrest survival by improving out-of-hospital and in-hospital systems of care;

  • Generating support to launch a resuscitation research network; and

  • Co-sponsoring a national cardiac arrest summit to help create a national cardiac arrest collaborative to identify common goals to improve survival.

The American Heart Association is a sponsor of the IOM report but had no input on its content.

For more information on the IOM report and the AHA’s special report, visit heart.org.

For more information on key AHA initiatives already supporting IOM’s recommendations:

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About the American Heart Association 

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contact:

Katie Brooks 214.706.1857; Katie.Brooks@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why we fund scientific breakthroughs that save and improve lives.


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