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Heart Safe designation
Heart Safe designation recognizes a city's efforts to prepare its staff and citizens to recognize when someone suffers a sudden cardiac arrest and how to respond.
The following Minnesota cities/regions have achieved Heart Safe designation.
The following Minnesota cities/regions are working toward Heart Safe designation.
Do you live in a heart safe community?
If someone in your community suffers a sudden cardiac arrest tomorrow, how likely is he or she to survive due to rapid access to life-saving treatment?
How many residents and public safety officials in your community can recognize the symptoms of cardiac arrest and know how to get help “on the way, right away”?
Do your community’s schools and public buildings have effective emergency response plans?
Where are automated external defibrillators (AEDs) located, and who has been trained to use them appropriately?
The answers to these questions could determine whether or not your community qualifies as a Heart Safe Community.
Allina Health Heart Safe Communities, with the support of the American Heart Association, aims to help cities and towns improve the chances that anyone suffering a sudden cardiac arrest will have the best possible chance for survival.
It raises community awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and the life-saving power of automated external defibrillators (AEDs). It also places or locates AEDs in key locations in the community and teaches people how to use them.
Successful public access defibrillation programs like Allina Health Heart Safe Communities are endorsed by community leaders and receive support from local organizations and residents.
Allina Health Emergency Medical Services began Heart Safe Communities through the leadership of its medical director, Charles Lick, MD, an emergency room physician at Unity Hospital in Fridley, Minnesota.
"Sudden cardiac arrest is a common emergency – and immediate access to an AED can make the difference between life and death," said Dr. Lick.
According to Dr. Lick, the chance of surviving an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest declines by about 10 percent each minute without defibrillation. Beyond 12 minutes, the chance of survival is 2 to 5 percent.
"I tell community leaders that on that average, EMS teams in the U.S. take 6 to 12 minutes to respond," he said.
"When they hear an ER doctor tell them that in most sudden cardiac arrest cases, an ambulance and paramedic won't arrive in time to save a life, but quick action by the first person on-scene and an AED will, they take notice."
Since Heart Safe Communities was launched in December 2001, the program has placed more than 1,500 AEDs in communities across Minnesota and western Wisconsin.