CHICAGO – August 22, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn and the University of Illinois Hospital Health Sciences System today launched Illinois Heart Rescue, a statewide all-volunteer effort to more than double survival from sudden cardiac arrests. The Medtronic Foundation provided a $2.5 million grant to the University of Illinois Hospital to coordinate Illinois Heart Rescue. Governor Quinn recently signed a new law to increase CPR training.
"Learning CPR is something simple we can all do to help save lives, whether you're on the field, in the classroom or at home," Governor Quinn said. “Illinois Heart Rescue will educate the public about heart health and help give those experiencing cardiac arrest a greater chance of survival."
Illinois Heart Rescue's community initiative will aim to improve bystander CPR in Illinois through free instruction. The effort is designed to more than double survival from sudden cardiac arrests by strengthening three key links in the chain of survival: bystander CPR, pre-hospital resuscitation by EMS, and post-arrest care through hospital interventions. In the first moments, a knowledgeable bystander who can begin CPR can save a life. At today’s event, bystander-performed, chest-compression-only CPR was demonstrated.
The program’s all-volunteer leadership team represents an unusually broad collaboration among physicians, health professionals, community organizations, hospitals, EMS systems, fire departments and governmental agencies across the state.
Evidenced-based best practices for pre-hospital care will be taught to 911 dispatchers, EMTs, firefighters, and paramedics in simulator training at the Chicago Fire Academy Simulation Center and later at simulation centers in Peoria and Evanston. The Illinois Heart Rescue team will use social media, multi-lingual and culturally-sensitive messaging, athletic events and community health fairs to reach the diverse population of Illinois.
Leaders in the initiative include the Chicago Fire Department, Chicago EMS System, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Chicago Cardiac Arrest Resuscitation Education Service (CCARES) and the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System. Other grant partners include the American Heart Association, the Chicago Cubs, the American Red Cross, the Chicago Department of Public Health and many community organizations that include local health clinic systems and neighborhood groups.
Governor Quinn signed House Bill 5114 earlier this summer, which allows middle school students to learn CPR and AED skills in the classroom. In 2011, he also signed legislation providing legal protection to good Samaritans who performed CPS in an emergency, which will encourage citizens to use this critical skill to save a life.
"In sudden cardiac arrest, a few seconds of time can make a lifetime of difference," said Dr. Terry Vanden Hoek, professor and chair of emergency medicine at the University of Illinois Hospital, who will lead the project. "The unprecedented collaboration from so many Illinois institutions along with the opportunity Medtronic Foundation has provided us will allow us to help the people of Illinois and serve as a model for other states."
"Currently, one of the missing links in the 'chain of survival' is data," said Dr. Joseph Weber, Chicago EMS director, emergency-medicine physician at Stroger Cook County Hospital and assistant professor at Rush Medical College. "This grant will allow us to quantify cardiac-arrest survival across the state. We can then use this data to direct quality improvement initiatives and track progress on our ultimate goal of improving cardiac arrest survival in Illinois.”
"We will bring the science of cardiac-arrest resuscitation to the streets through simulation training," said Dr. Eric Beck, EMS Medical Director for Chicago and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. "Simple things like high quality, uninterrupted chest compressions and limiting patient movement during cardiac arrest have been shown to dramatically improve survival."
"If you see someone collapse, the message is simple: Call 911. Start doing chest compressions, 100 beats per minute and two inches deep. Call for someone to bring an AED and use it. These actions alone can save someone's life," said Dr. Amer Aldeen, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Northwestern University, co-director of CCARES and Illinois Heart Rescue community liaison. "We plan to spread the message of bystander CPR and AEDs throughout Illinois, especially in our relatively underserved urban and rural areas."
"We are especially pleased to partner with Illinois Heart Rescue in this important initiative to eliminate disparities in sudden cardiac arrest and to improve cardiac arrest outcomes in our state, particularly in Chicago and underserved rural areas of the state," said Dr. Derek J. Robinson, executive director, Illinois Hospital Association's Quality Care Institute. Almost 30 hospitals throughout Illinois will collaborate initially to collect outcome data and champion state-of-the-art care for patients post-resuscitation.