Grant Aims To Improve Heart Health

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Multi-Township EMS is the recipient of a one-year Community Action Grant from the American Heart Association for 2013-14. The Community Action Grant initiative is designed to help achieve the American Heart Association’s mission: to build healthier lives, free from cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Projects were asked to focus on one or more of “Life’s Simple 7,”the seven key factors to good health outlined on www.mylifecheck.org, and/or align with one of the association’s strategic focus areas: advocacy; CPR and first aid; quality and systems improvement; and health equity.

Multi-Township EMS is one of 29 grant recipients, out of a total of 172 applicants, across an 11-state region served by the American Heart Association’s Midwest Affiliate. Multi-Township EMS received $3000 in funding to support One Heart “Hands Helping Hearts” Foundation, which will be instructing the residence in Kosciusko and Marshall counties in CPR.

According to Tony Doyle, Multi-Township EMS, “We are delighted to receive this funding from the American Heart Association, which will enable us to educate people about how to live a healthy life and improve the heart health of our community.”

For more information about the project, contact Doyle at mtems.com. To learn more about the American Heart Association and their Community Action Grant program, visit www.heart.org.

Multi-Township EMS’s One Heart Foundation is a 501c3 not for profit that was developed to improve sudden cardiac arrest survival in Kosciusko and Marshall counties.

The One Heart Program’s purpose is to increase awareness of occurrences of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, increase the percentage of patients that receive bystander CPR, and focus on the at risk patients within the community for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. By increasing awareness and increasing the percentage of patients receiving bystander CPR, the program has the potential to increase patient surviving a witnessed ventricular fibrillation cardiac arrest by up to 20 percent.

There have been many reasons identified for someone not receiving bystander CPR, but the reason that is at the front of the pack most of the time is fear. Bystanders fear that they will hurt the patient or contract a disease while performing CPR. New and updated data has shown that just doing hard and fast compressions can save a person’s life.

One of the other keys to survival of cardiac arrest is early access to defibrillation. The quicker access to a defibrillator can significantly improve the outcome. In one study it showed if the patient was defibrillated within 3 minutes 74 percent survived discharge from the hospital but if the first defibrillation was after 3 minutes it dropped to 49 percent.

The One Heart Program will identifying where all the AEDs are placed within the Kosciusko County and develop a plan for strategically placing more defibrillators in areas of high public activity. K21 Health Foundation has funded and placed a large number of defibrillators in the Kosciusko area, working with the foundation we could identify the areas that would benefit with placement of an additional automated external defibrillators. To register your AED go to mtems.com.

 Another important area that the One Heart Program would focus on is the systems that the local fire departments and EMS organizations have in place within Kosciusko County and Marshal counties (Bourbon and Tippecanoe Township) for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

There is a significant amount of research projects that are being explored at this time that is changing the way we treat patients in cardiopulmonary arrest. By developing a academy that could be taken to the community fire departments and EMS services we can work closer as a team and keep all the departments up-to-date with the new changes for the care of these patients.