Heart Rhythm Foundation Launches Sudden Cardiac Arrest Campaign

Lisa Olson, PhD, Executive Director Heart Rhythm Foundation Washington, DC
Lisa Olson, PhD, Executive Director Heart Rhythm Foundation Washington, DC
What, specifically, are the goals of the campaign? Educate health care professionals about SCA and prevention Educate the public about SCA Open the lines of communication between doctor and patient to encourage dialogue about SCA Identify those who are at risk for SCA and urge those at risk to see their physician Risk identification. In an effort to identify high-risk patients, a risk assessment survey is distributed or available online that asks individuals to respond to a brief set of questions related to their heart history and offers a scored assessment in return. Patients at risk are encouraged to contact their primary care physician for further evaluation. Education. As a part of the It s About Time campaign, the Heart Rhythm Foundation works with professional medical organizations to offer educational materials to healthcare providers and their patients. Critical to the Heart Rhythm Foundation s success is "preparing" and educating the medical professionals about the risk factors and treatment options for sudden cardiac death. Who Does the Campaign Target? The primary audience for the campaign is those who have had a heart attack or cardiac arrest or have heart failure. Family members and women in particular also play a significant role in driving family decisions about health, and are included in an effort to persuade the at-risk audience to take the SCA risk-assessment survey. After taking the risk assessment survey, the public is encouraged to seek out their healthcare providers for more information on SCA and/or further evaluation. The Foundation Kicks Off the Minneapolis Pilot Program The pilot campaign for Sudden Cardiac Arrest was kicked off by the Heart Rhythm Foundation in the state of Minnesota. Highlights of the campaign included a medical community outreach, including local chapters of professional medical societies, an employer outreach which included distribution of materials to employees of major local corporations, and a media campaign which included local feature articles, TV interviews and public service announcements. There were patient- and public-focused events providing education on SCA, with a risk assessment tool that provided immediate feedback and encouraged those at risk to see their physician. Next Step: A Washington DC Pilot Program A second pilot program is being planned in the Washington, DC and Baltimore metropolitan area. Dr. Cynthia Tracy of George Washington University Medical Center is chairing the metro Washington, DC SCA Awareness Task Force. She has successfully recruited a diverse group who represent business, media and other professional medical societies. The campaign is expected to be launched in October. About the Heart Rhythm Foundation The Heart Rhythm Foundation is an organization with a vital mission to raise awareness about heart rhythm disorders, their diagnosis and treatment. The main focus of the Heart Rhythm Foundation is to shine a spotlight on critical issues with programs that give a strong voice to patients, the public and physicians. Facts about SCA: Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death in the United States, claiming an estimated 325,000 lives each year. SCA kills 1,000 people a day or one person every two minutes. SCA most often occurs in patients with heart disease, especially those who have congestive heart failure and have had a heart attack. It is estimated that 95 percent of victims of cardiac arrest die before they reach a hospital or other source of emergency help. As many as 75 percent of people who die of SCA show signs of a previous heart attack. Eighty percent have signs of coronary artery disease. How You Can Help Download materials to learn more about Sudden Cardiac Arrest and how to discuss it with your patients. We encourage you join us in the fight against Sudden Cardiac Arrest and share this information with your colleagues. For more information, please visit: www.AboutSCA.org