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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Five simple, surprising facts.

Let me share with you five simple facts that many people don’t know:

1. There is a 1 in 7 chance that you, personally, will witness at least one sudden cardiac arrest during your lifetime.

2. The odds are 85 percent that the victim will be a family member, a friend, or someone you know.

3. If all you do is call 911, that victim has a 1 in 20 chance of getting out of the hospital with major brain functions intact. These are the survivors

4. The other 19 out of 20 people don’t all die – just the lucky ones. Some of the 19 will spend the rest of their lives with terrible neurological deficits, frequently in long-term care facilities, unable to perform the activities of daily living without assistance. The victim doesn’t want this, the family doesn’t want this, and the cost can be ruinous.

5. If in addition to calling 911 you also start CPR, the chances of the victim’s surviving the arrest go up….way up. And the number of victims who would have otherwise spent the rest of their life in a care facility will go down.

Now that you know these five facts, let me share one more: if – knowing what you now know – you don’t learn Bystander CPR before you witness a family member, a friend, or an acquaintance die of a cardiac arrest, the odds are high that you will have a difficult time dealing with the knowledge that you might have been able to save that person, had you only invested an hour in learning what to do.

My name is Bob. I’m a paramedic and the president of a public charity in Savannah, GA. We’re informally known as “SLICC” – as in Saving Lives in Chatham County. We exist to teach people how to perform Bystander CPR, how to use an external automated defibrillator - commonly called an AED, how to safely resolve a choking emergency, and how to recognize when someone is having a stroke. We took our test zip code from about five percent trained to more than twenty-seven percent trained in 2 years.

We are applying for a grant from the Pepsi Refresh Everything project to permit us to expand our program across all of Chatham County and eventually across the U.S.A. Whether we get the grant or not depends upon how many votes we get in October.

I’m asking three things of you:

  1. Learn CPR now! Please!
  2. Register as a “follower” on this blog site so that when it’s time to vote, we can get instructions to you regarding how to vote.
  3. When you receive the voting instructions in late September, make it a point to vote.