AED Access for All: An Organization for SCA Survivors

When was the AED Access for All organization formed, and why? Iowa AED Access for All was founded in February of 2006. A couple of sudden cardiac arrest survivors and ICD patients felt strongly that our community needed to be educated about the need for CPR and AEDs in the community setting, and we wanted to do something to help in that area. Describe the purpose and goals of the AED Access for All organization. Our overall purpose is to promote the placement, education, and use of AEDs in order to increase the survival rate of SCA in Iowa. We want to ensure that AEDs are placed in all of Iowa s schools. We are working with the American Heart Association and other groups to get legislation passed that will require all schools to have AEDs. Regardless of the legislation, we will also be working directly with schools to help them raise the funds to purchase AEDs and train their staff. We are collecting data on which schools need AEDs and which schools already have AEDs, as well as ensuring that the AEDs are placed in an accessible area for anyone to use. Who can join AED Access for All? Are there services provided to members? We welcome all parties who are committed to raise awareness for the need for CPR and AED education everywhere we work, play and pray. We have provided CPR/AED training for participants, and opportunities to make a difference. Describe the Annual SCA Survivors Summit. How many of these meetings have been held? What events take place during the summit? The Annual SCA Survivors Summit is an opportunity for survivors, their families, heroes, and advocates to share their testimonials. The day features guest speakers who educate, inform and inspire participants on this very important topic of sudden cardiac arrest. It is attended by physicians, technicians, survivors, family members, advocates, and of course, our heroes! The 2008 Summit will be held in conjunction with the Minnesota SCA Survivors Network and the Take Heart St. Cloud Sudden Cardiac Arrest Initiative to provide a multi-state summit. Does your organization take part in other medical meetings (such as the Heart Rhythm Society's or American Heart Association's annual meetings)? Yes, we have attended the AHA Heart on the Hill in Washington DC, as well as the Iowa Heart on the Hill. We have yet to attend the Heart Rhythm Society meeting, but our affiliate, the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association, has attended and provides us with details from the meetings. Can medical professionals who work in the treatment of heart rhythm disorders also get involved with AED Access for All? Absolutely! And they have. We have been lucky to have staff from the Iowa Heart Hospital and Iowa Heart Center, as well as Mercy Medical Center, participate. We welcome all input. Is there anything else you'd like to add? We are a non-profit, grass-roots organization that has the passion, drive and commitment to stay with our objectives and see that our communities become heart safe. For more information, please visit: www.aedaccessforall.org