AHA and Laerdal Extend Their Joint Commitment To Community CPR

This July, as we enter into our seventh year of the Laerdal Medical/AHA Strategic Alliance, it is my great pleasure to announce that Laerdal has awarded the AHA an additional $1.85 million grant to be used over the next four years of the Alliance. This grant will help to fund various CPR Anytime™ projects, as well as support Community CPR Manager positions through our AHA affiliates. Laerdal had previously committed more than $1.5 million for more than three years of program funding.

Since 2007, nearly one million CPR Anytime kits have been distributed through the work of the Alliance. Thanks to the diligence of the Community CPR Managers and the support of affiliate and Alliance partners, a record 146,000 kits were placed during fiscal year 2012. With a research-proven training multiplier of 2.5 people trained per kit, we can estimate that almost 2.5 million people have been trained in lifesaving CPR skills through CPR Anytime.

Our Strategic Alliance with Laerdal has been key to many AHA successes, both domestically and internationally. On behalf of the AHA, I want to express appreciation to our partner for their continued commitment and dedication to our mission. Our work with Laerdal, through global CPR Anytime programs and innovative technologies such as eSimulation, helps AHA extend its reach to diverse audiences, increasing the number of people trained in CPR and advanced life support and ultimately, increasing the number of lives saved through these interventions.

Please join me in thanking Laerdal Medical for their collaboration, passion and ongoing support.

AHA Launches New Hands-Only CPR Campaign in NYC!

Today, I’m excited to be blogging you live from the official kick-off of the AHA’s new Hands-Only™ CPR Campaign at The Grace Building in New York City. Joining me for the celebration are several members of AHA leadership including President Gordon Tomaselli, CEO Nancy Brown, National Chairman William Roach, Chief Mission Officer Meighan Girgus and EVP of Communications Matt Bannister, our campaign sponsor, WellPoint Foundation, Laerdal Medical, experts in CPR training and science, survivors of sudden cardiac arrest and our new campaign spokesperson, actress and comedian Jennifer Coolidge!

Our new campaign uses a fun theme of the Bee Gees’ disco classic “Stayin’ Alive” (the song that’s been shown to help people remember the correct rate of CPR compressions) and focuses on giving bystanders the confidence to act if they witness a sudden cardiac arrest. At today’s event, we’ll launch our new public service announcement starring Ms. Coolidge and release our new Hands-Only CPR instructional video – both available at our newly-designed Hands-Only CPR website for you to view and download.

In addition, today’s event is our first stop on the mobile Hands-Only CPR tour! Our state-of-the-art mobile CPR training unit and certified trainers will be present to teach New Yorkers the simple steps to save a life. From here, the Hands-Only CPR mobile training unit will travel to host trainings in eight cities this summer. Over the next three years, the unit will be traveling across the county to build awareness and train people in lifesaving CPR skills.

With this campaign, we hope to train several hundred thousand people in Hands-Only CPR and also encourage people to learn conventional CPR. It’s easier than ever to save a life and I’m confident this campaign will raise significant awareness of how easy it can be!

Join the discussion on Hands-Only CPR – comment on my blog post, and check out what people are saying on our AHA CPR & First Aid Facebook and Twitter sites.

Also, please check back later this week for photos from today’s NYC kick-off!

AHA’s EMS Week Activities

Tomorrow begins the AHA’s annual celebration of our partners in Emergency Medical Services for EMS Week. For these dedicated men and women, saving lives is not just a job, but a calling. We honor their heroic work during this special week.

We’ll be kicking off the week, officially celebrated May 20-26, by hosting an EMS “Twitter Party!” During this event, AHA staff and EMT-Ps and experts in the field of first response will be discussing EMS Systems of Care, STEMI and much more. If you’ve got a Twitter account, please join us for what’s sure to be an engaging social media discussion! Here are the details:

EMS Twitter Party

DATE: May 18th, 2012, 1:00 p.m., Central Time

Join the conversation: follow us at @HeartCPR and #WeHeartEMS#WeHeartEMS.

RSVP here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/362323360469752/

Expert panel includes:

Rod Kimble, David Hiltz, Shannon Armstrong, Bobby Wales—EMT-P with American Heart Association

Jose Maria E. Ferrer, M.D., Science & Medicine Advisor, American Heart Association

John Freese, M.D., Chief Medical Director, Fire Department of New York

Tom Bouthillet, Fire Captain and Paramedic, Hilton Head, South Carolina

Robert Suter, D.O., MHA, FACEP, FAAEM, FACOEP-D, FIFEM, Professor of Emergency Medicine, UT Southwestern- Dallas, TX

Next week, there’s a second opportunity to get involved in honoring EMS, by participate in a special EMS Week webcast, hosted by the Journal of EMS (JEMS). This FREE webcast will focus on evidence-based strategies that can be used by the EMS community to improve survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

JEMS Webcast

WHERE You Live Shouldn’t Determine IF You Live: EMS Strategies for Improving Cardiac Arrest Survival

DATE: May 21, 2012, 12:00 p.m., Central Time


David B. Hiltz, NREMT-P

Rodney L. Kimble, EMT- P

Register today!

AHA sees progress on CPR graduation requirement

AHA is making headway toward CPR training becoming a high-school graduation requirement in all states! I’m excited to report that both Tennessee and Minnesota have recently passed or strengthened legislation for students to receive this lifesaving training while in school.

After passing the Tennessee legislature with overwhelming support, Governor Bill Haslam signed Senate Bill 1680, the Carmen Burnette Act of 2012.  This act strengthens the state’s CPR as a graduation requirement by assuring that all students will receive CPR training that includes hands-on practice and skills testing to support learning, as opposed to merely cognitive training.

In Minnesota, the AHA’s You’re the Cure network did an incredible job assuring their voices were heard and, as a result of their tireless efforts, the lifesaving CPR in Schools initiative is now law in Minnesota. Over the last three months, nearly 900 messages were sent to legislators, the Governor was presented with more than 1200 petitions, more than 100 meetings were held with advocates and legislators, more than 50 calls were placed to the Governor’s office and countless media stories ran throughout the state to stressing the urgency and importance of the CPR in Schools bill. Governor Mark Dayton signed the CPR in Schools bill into law, which will result in the creation of generations of lifesavers in land of ten thousand lakes!

Let’s keep the momentum going! Please join the CPR in schools movement by signing up at the campaign website, BeCPRSmart.org, where you can show your support, read incredible stories of survival and even add your own story.

AHA Celebrates the Japan Circulation Society

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Japan Circulation Society’s special session to commemorate the 50th anniversary of CPR worldwide and the 20th anniversary of CPR in Japan.

Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, President of AHA, Dr. Hiroshi Nonogi, Chair of JCS ECC Committee and John Meiners, EVP of AHA ECC Programs

This event was held as part of the 76th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Japan Circulation Society Resuscitation Science Symposium in Fukuoka, Japan. Presentations were given by Dr. Tsuyoshi Kawamura and Dr. Katsuhiko Hiramori, who were the first cardiologists to introduce CPR education to Hyogo and Iwate prefectures in Japan.

The session closed with awards presented to both pioneers from Dr. Takeshi Kimura, Chair of the JCS ECC Committee and from Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, President of the AHA, and to the group of volunteers at the JCS. Following the session, I also gave awards to each of the following 15 AHA Volunteers from the JCS to celebrate their lifesaving work in emergency cardiovascular care:


Hiroshi Nonogi, MD, PhD

Hiroyuki Hanada, MD, PhD

Tetsuya Sakamoto, MD, PhD

Chokoh Genka, MD, PhD

Migaku Kikuchi, MD, PhD

Hironori Saito, MD

Hiromi Seo, MD, PhD

Shuichi Suzuki, MD, PhD

Hiroshi Takahashi, MD, PhD

Yoshiaki Tomobuchi, MD

Hiroyuki Yokoyama, MD, PhD

Nobutaka Hirai, MD

Toshikazu Funazaki, MD, PhD

Toshihiko Mayumi, MD, PhD

AHA Award Winners


Also during my trip to Japan, Dr. Tomaselli and AHA staff Michael Hulley and I attended the 10th Citizen Education Seminar, where approximately 700 Fukuoka citizens learned about the dangers of smoking and the importance of learning CPR.

Following this seminar, we observed 100 citizens learn Hands-Only CPR using the AHA’s CPR Anytime kit, which they were able to take home so they can pass on this lifesaving skill to their loved ones.

From the Symposium to the CPR training it was an incredibly successful trip, and I am looking forward to the advances we can make with our Japanese partners in the future.

AHA Celebrates AAP’s Neonatal Resuscitation Program

Earlier this week, on behalf of the AHA, I presented the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) a plaque commemorating the milestone training of the three millionth provider for the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP).

For more than two decades, the NRP of the AAP has set a national standard and an international example for training in the resuscitation of the newborn. AHA has been involved with neonatal resuscitation since its origin in 1987, through relationships with AAP and AHA volunteers. The association formally entered into an agreement with AAP to support NRP in 1998. This year marks the 25th year of the NRP!

We are so proud that we have been able to work hand in hand with AAP to support this lifesaving program. We congratulate them on their achievements and hope for many years of future collaboration toward our shared goal of improving care and outcomes for neonatal resuscitation.

Hands-Only CPR Save!

I wanted to share with you an amazing save story that showcases AHA’s lifesaving work and the viral impact of the Ad Council/AHA Hands-OnlyTM CPR campaign.

Louis Sabat (an AHA Instructor since 1978) was mowing his front lawn when he suddenly collapsed. A neighbor saw the incident and called Louis’ daughter and 911. His daughter, Jennifer,  started CPR using rescue breathing within one minute. She then remembered the humorous message about a serious topic – the Hands-Only CPR video featuring actor and comedian Ken Jeoung (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5hP4DIBCEE). Her dad had showed her the video just the week prior. She then focused on performing Hands-Only CPR.

Due to this simple technique of calling 911, then pushing hard and fast on the center of the chest until help arrives, Louis is alive today!  

I believe this is a shining example of the importance and success of the simple Hands-Only CPR message, the Ad Council campaign that supported it and ongoing AHA Volunteer and staff efforts to bring it to life.

Keep spreading the message about these two simple steps that can, and did, save a life!

Hands-Only CPR Ad Council Update

I’m excited to report that the AHA’s public service advertising campaign, the Hands-Only™ CPR Ad Council campaign, is coming off of its most successful quarter since its launch in October 2009. This campaign was designed to raise awareness of Hands-Only CPR and has included public service TV and radio spots, billboard and print advertising, as well as a viral media component. Here’s a quick look at how this campaign is making an impact among consumers and potential CPR bystanders:

  • This quarter, estimated media impressions (number of people exposed to the campaign elements) tripled to 395 million impressions reported, which brings the total since the launch to 1.4 billion.
  • From Oct. 2009 through Dec. 2011, there have been 1.6 million page views to the dedicated campaign website, www.handsonlycpr.org.
  • 100,800 have viewed the Hands-Only CPR demonstration video since it was posted in October 2009.

We have also seen a dramatic increase in the awareness of Hands-Only CPR, from the benchmark online survey in August 2009, to the post-wave survey in 2010. Awareness of Hands-Only CPR has increased from 56% to 63% — an incredible jump. There was also an increase, from 53% to 63%, in the number of people who understood that Hands-Only CPR can be as effective as conventional CPR. While these statistics are encouraging, we know that much work lies ahead to continue to move the needle toward our 2020 Impact Goal of doubling bystander response.

We are dedicated to continuing the momentum of Hands-Only CPR through a new campaign I will be announcing in the coming months. From now through June 2012, keep your eyes peeled for our Hands-Only CPR billboards and TV and radio spots!

AHA publishes Scientific Statement on EMS dispatch CPR prearrival instructions

According to a Scientific Statement published January 9, 2012, in the AHA journal, Circulation, more people will survive sudden cardiac arrest with 9-1-1 dispatchers help bystanders assess victims and begin CPR immediately. While the 2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR & ECC advised 9-1-1 dispatchers to provide assistance, this statement provides more specific information about how dispatchers should provide such help and also emphasizes the importance of assessing the dispatcher’s actions. Highlights of the statement include the following recommendations:

  • Dispatchers should help 9-1-1 callers identify cardiac arrest victims and coach callers to provide immediate CPR.
  • If more dispatchers followed these processes, thousands of lives could be saved every year.
  • Communities should regularly evaluate 9-1-1 emergency dispatchers’ performance and the overall emergency response system

 To support this AHA Scientific Statement, AHA CPR & First Aid has created a Dispatcher CPR web page that includes links to case studies and features actual 9-1-1 calls that allow viewers to listen to calls and try to determine where improvement is needed.

 I’m very pleased to see this statement published, as efforts to improve dispatcher CPR can make a significant impact toward the AHA’s 2020 Impact Goal of increasing bystander response and ultimately, doubling survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

View the full statement in Circulation. Also, below are links to supporting materials.  

British Heart Foundation Launches Hands-Only CPR Campaign

Last week, the British Heart Foundation kicked off its own Hands-Only CPR campaign, inspired by the AHA’s Ad Council campaign. Due to the quick turnaround time for the foundation to prepare its campaign, in a true collaborative spirit, the AHA shared with the foundation its campaign research, rights to use the Hands-Only CPR name and provided additional consulting.

The foundation’s humorous “Hard & Fast” Hands-Only CPR campaign features British “hard man” Vinnie Jones, who encourages bystanders with a message that “it’s not as hard as it looks” to perform the two simple steps of calling 999 (the UK’s emergency response number), then pushing hard and fast to the beat of the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive.” A retired footballer turned actor, Jones is well-known in the UK for his tough man image, his aggressive style and intimidating demeanour.

The British Heart Foundation’s website features many campaign elements, including the campaign’s TV ad, which began airing in the UK on January 6, a blog and an “Ask Vinnie” application, a Hands-Only CPR instructional video and more. At the site, visitors also can sign a petition to make CPR training part of school curricula.

You can view all of the components of this campaign at www.bhf.org.

Again, this project is a fantastic example of collaborative work, which has allowed the British Heart Foundation to bring this lifesaving campaign to the UK public. Thanks to all involved in this project!