The University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center Resuscitation Research Group received the Public Health Service Award for 2011 from the Arizona Medical Association (ArMA) and Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). Each year ArMA and ADHS recognize an individual or group of individuals whose contributions to public health have been significant.
This award was presented in recognition of the Resuscitation Research Group’s successful advocacy of the chest-compression-only CPR technique in the event of sudden cardiac arrest. The following physicians received the award on behalf of the group:
· Gordon A. Ewy, MD – director of the UA Sarver Heart Center and professor of cardiology in the UA College of Medicine.
· Karl B. Kern, MD – chair of the UA Sarver Heart Center Resuscitation Research Group, acting chief, Section of Cardiology in the UA College of Medicine.
· Bentley J. Bobrow, MD – medical director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma System, member of the UA Sarver Heart Center Resuscitation Research Group.
To learn chest-compression-only CPR, please visit www.heart.arizona.edu and click on the “Be A Lifesaver” link to view a six-minute training video and find other resources.
Sudden cardiac arrest is a major public health problem that claims almost 300,000 lives each year in the United States. Dr. Ewy estimates that if the Arizona protocols were implemented nationally, 58,000 lives could be saved each year in the United States alone. Arizona’s cardiocerebral resuscitation protocols changed the near-half-century-old approach to resuscitation and encompasses participants at all levels including:
· Teaching people to recognize cardiac arrest – seeing or hearing someone collapse unexpectedly and who is not responsive. (Note: it is not necessary to check for pulse or breath, as gasping or agonal respiration can be mistaken for breathing, when in fact these are signs of cardiac arrest.)
· Calling 911 for emergency medical services.
· Starting chest-compression-only CPR without removing clothing.
· If available, using an automated external defibrillator (AED) and following directions to shock the heart back to a normal rhythm.
· Emergency responders do not place a breathing tube, but provide passive ventilation and continuous chest compressions before and after each single shock from a defibrillator.
· The patient is transported to a designated cardiac receiving center.
· The 34 cardiac receiving centers throughout the state provide immediate access to a catheterization lab to open up blocked arteries 24 hours a day, seven days a week and provide therapeutic mild hypothermia to cardiac arrest survivors who initially are in a coma, a procedure shown to limit damage to the brain and other tissue. Patterned after the trauma center designation, ambulance crews have the opportunity to bypass hospitals in order to take a patient directly to the closest cardiac receiving center.
The University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center in Tucson, Ariz., emphasizes a highly interdisciplinary research environment fostering innovative translational or “bench-to-bedside” research. Working toward a future free of cardiovascular disease and stroke, the center’s more than 175 scientist and physician members collaborate with the goal of applying new findings from the basic sciences to the clinical arena as quickly as possible. The University of Arizona recently was awarded a major “Heart Rescue” grant from the Medtronic Foundation, which named it one of five elite institutions in the United States in the area of resuscitation research. The grant will help UA researchers and the Save Hearts in Arizona Registry & Education (SHARE) program further advocate the Arizona protocols that have been shown to double a person’s chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest. More resources are available on the SHARE website: www.azshare.gov.