Kansas City, Kan., residents now have a better chance of surviving a heart attack.
According to Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department spokesman Craig Duke, the Heart Safe program launched Jan. 17 has now trained more than 1,200 people in hands-only CPR. Locally, the program is sponsored by the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department and the University of Kansas Hospital. By a large margin, the program has passed the 218 trainees required for a city to be named a Kansas “HeartSafe Community.”
“Minutes count,” Duke said. Just by the numbers and odds, the chance of survival now is better, plus the quality of the survivor’s life often imrproves when CPR is started early, he said.
Duke said training for hands-only CPR started here in larger businesses, the school districts and among Unified Government employees.
There was also some training for Sporting Kansas City security workers and other employees, he said.
Plans are for the Heart Safe program to continue training people in the community, he said, starting with larger groups such as neighborhood groups and church groups.
Part of the credit for training large numbers of people in hands-only CPR is due to a method of going in to large facilities, training a few people in CPR, who then are able to train many other people at the facility.
Training a large number of people in the community is expected to improve the survival rates here for a heart attack, he said. Also, those who receive CPR early are more likely to continue a normal life after recovery, according to Duke.
Some of Wyandotte County’s largest events, such as races at Kansas Speedway, have emergency medical technicians on site, and are prepared for emergencies. Other places, such as shopping centers or stores, could benefit from volunteers who receive hands-on CPR training.
“We’re getting the schools involved,” Duke said. The program will continue training people in the community in future months.
While it’s possible that lives may be saved at a store or at a public event, it’s more likely that the life saved by a bystander will be that of a family member or loved one. Statistics provided by Duke showed that 88 percent of cardiac arrests occur at home, and that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States.
“This can definitely have an effect on the survival rates for people in our community,” Duke said.