Sudden cardiac arrest is a particularly deadly form of heart disease, with survival rates for out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest victims remaining at just 8%.
However, a victim’s chance of survival more than doubles with immediate CPR and early defibrillation - an electrical shock that helps restore the heart to its normal rhythm - using an AED (Automated External Defibrillator).
Placing more AEDs in public settings will save additional lives. Unfortunately, many rural areas and small communities simply cannot make the investment needed to protect their citizens from sudden cardiac arrest.
The federal government does have programs to help these communities by providing competitively awarded grants that allow states to purchase AEDs, train lay rescuers and first responders in their use, and place them in public areas where sudden cardiac arrests are likely to occur. Unfortunately, due to limited resources, only ten states received money for this life-saving initiative in 2009.
Please take a minute to ask your Members of Congress to restore the Rural and Community Access to Emergency Devices Program to its 2005 funding level, when 47 states were able to receive resources for this initiative to save the lives of sudden cardiac arrest victims.
The people in rural areas and small communities all across the United States deserve the best shot at survival too!