(Sioux Falls, SD) – Sanford Heart Hospital today announced a comprehensive, statewide initiative, the first in the state, called Take Heart South Dakota. The new program is designed to increase survival rates of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). SCA is a condition in which the heart abruptly stops without warning. Each year, an estimated 325,000 Americans die from sudden cardiac arrest.
When SCA strikes, treatment must be delivered within minutes and followed up with effective, appropriate care en route to and in the hospital for the best chance of survival. The Take Heart South Dakota initiative will implement a systems-based approach that simultaneously coordinates and enhances SCA training and technologies for the general public, first responders (police/fire) and emergency medical services (ambulance), as well as for effective post-resuscitation care in the hospital to maximize survival rates.
“We know we can improve survival rates when all the systems work together,” said Scott Pham, MD, co-founder of Take Heart South Dakota and an electrophysiologist at Sanford Heart Hospital. “By properly training the general public, first responders and hospital staff while also arming them with state-of-the-art technologies, we believe we can save lives in our region every day.”
About Take Heart America™
Take Heart South Dakota is part of a nationwide initiative called Take Heart America™. Take Heart America™ was founded by a network of visionaries who recognized that a coordinated, comprehensive approach to resuscitation therapies would substantially increase sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survival rates from 5 percent with conventional treatment to 30-35 percent with aggressive resuscitation. Building community awareness is paramount to the Take Heart America strategy for saving lives. Teaching cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and encouraging those who have been trained to act when necessary can significantly increase a SCA victim’s chance of survival. The strategy to deploy automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in residential communities and public places along with improving the resuscitation techniques of professional rescuers will also increase the chances for the victim to survive and resume a productive life.
About Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)
Often mistakenly referred to as a heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a condition in which the heart abruptly stops without warning. Most sudden cardiac arrest episodes are caused by the rapid and/or chaotic activity of the heart known as ventricular tachycardia (VT) or ventricular fibrillation (VF). These are abnormalities of the heart’s electrical conduction system. SCA is the leading cause of death throughout the world. Cardiac arrest is reversible in most victims if it’s treated within minutes, but the only effective treatment is the delivery of an electrical shock, either with an automated external defibrillator (AED) or with a stop watch sized implantable defibrillator.
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