CONTACT: TOM MOORE
Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications
8788 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: April 4, 2001
National CPR weekend is April 28-29
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Does cardiopulmonary resuscitation
(CPR) save lives? A group of young heroes from Kalona knows for a fact that
While giving swimming lessons at the municipal pool
last July 18, lifeguards noticed a swimmer at the bottom of the pool. They
pulled him from the pool, called 911 and started CPR. The lifeguards successfully
resuscitated the young boy, who made a full recovery.
In an effort to help save more lives, the American
Heart Association (AHA) will train thousands of people in cardiopulmonary
resuscitation (CPR) the weekend of April 28. The association has declared
April 2829 "National CPR Weekend." At least 50,000 people total are
expected to learn CPR in more than 100 communities during mass training events,
including more than 200 to be trained in Carver Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City
from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. AHA volunteers, staff and community partners
are working together to conduct the event. National event sponsors include
Discovery Health Channel and Laerdal Medical Corporation, with additional
support from the American College of Emergency Physicians and local sponsors,
including Johnson County Ambulance Service, Johnson County EMS Association,
Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, Iowa City Fire, KKRQ 100.7 the Fox/KXIC-AM,
Mercy Hospital, University of Iowa Health Care and the Iowa City Veterans
Affairs Medical Center. Information about Iowa City's National CPR Weekend
event can be obtained by calling 1-888-LEARN-CPR (532-7627). Information
about other local CPR training courses can be obtained by calling toll-free
1-877-AHA-4CPR or by visiting the AHA's Web site at www.americanheart.org.
"When performed effectively, CPR can double a sudden
cardiac arrest victim's chances of surviving," said Lance Heern, a staff member
in the Emergency Medical Services Learning Resources Center at the UI Hospitals
and Clinics. "National CPR Weekend provides a convenient, fun and easy way
for everyone to learn a skill that may save the life of a friend or family
member. When your spouse, parent or child's life is on the line, CPR training
allows you to overcome your fear and act quickly and confidently."
Cardiovascular disease is the nation's No. 1 killer,
and many deaths -- about 220,000 per year -- occur suddenly and without warning
due to sudden cardiac arrest. A victim is likely to die within minutes if
CPR and defibrillation do not occur. CPR can add critical minutes to
a sudden cardiac arrest victim's life by pumping blood and oxygen to vital
organs such as the heart, brain and lungs. The signs of sudden cardiac arrest
include an abrupt loss of consciousness, collapse and the loss of normal breathing.
The majority of all sudden cardiac arrests occur at home (75-80 percent) and
only about 5 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims survive.
During National CPR Weekend, instructors will train
participants using a new CPR/basic life support course called "CPR for Family
and Friends." The new course lasts about two hours and is based on the AHA's
revised "Guidelines 2000 for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular
Care," published in the August 22, 2000 supplement to Circulation: Journal
of the American Heart Association. This course does not provide CPR training
certification for health care professionals.
In addition to training thousands of National CPR
Weekend participants, the AHA's basic and advanced life support courses are
used to train more than six million people each year. The courses are provided
through a network of 3,500 training centers and 250,000 instructors. The AHA's
courses have been taught throughout the U.S. for more than 30 years.
National CPR Weekend is an important program supporting
Operation Heartbeat, the AHA's national grassroots initiative designed to
increase the sudden cardiac arrest survival rate. Operation Heartbeat encourages
people to learn the signs of sudden cardiac arrest, call 9-1-1 immediately
and perform CPR. Operation Heartbeat also promotes the availability and use
of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), which provide an electric shock
that can reverse the deadly heart rhythm present during most sudden cardiac
The American Heart Association spent about $337 million
during fiscal year 1999-2000 on research support, public and professional
education, and community programs. Nationwide, the association has grown to
include more than 22.5 million volunteers and supporters who carry out its
mission in communities across the country. The association is the largest
voluntary health organization fighting heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular
diseases which annually kill about 950,000 Americans.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership
between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the
patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.
Visit UI Health Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.