We’ve made a lot of progress toward doing something about one of the biggest killers in the state and U.S.- cardiac arrest. We’ve published peer-reviewed journal articles that demonstrate the superiority of the new hands-only CPR technique, implemented the new approach throughout the EMS community, made inroads with getting the public aware of the new technique, trained 911 dispatchers, put together a series of cardiac arrest care centers and made AED’s a lot more common in public buildings. But what about the people that survive a cardiac arrest (and their families)? Up until now, there weren’t many resources to help them cope with life after a cardiac arrest, like dealing with their internal defibrillator and their families emotions.
Although surviving a cardiac arrest is cause for great celebration, survivors face concerns about their implanted defibrillator, guilt for the stress one’s family is experiencing and the need to process what has happened. The fact that they were dead and are now alive can bring on some intense emotions. That’s why we worked with the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center to launch the SCA Foundation’s Arizona Affiliate of National Survivor Network™ this month. We’re encouraging all AZ cardiac arrest survivors to register with the SCAF and share their stories. They’ll be helping their families, other survivors, and themselves. Arizona survivor stories can be found on the SCAF website and the SHARE website.