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It’s all about saving lives

Johnson County HeartSafe Foundation recently celebrated five bystanders who performed hands-only CPR and/or deployed an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to save five lives. The sudden cardiac arrest survivors range in age from 19 to 65 years.

The foundation annually reunites the citizens who helped give the survivors a second chance. The event is meant to celebrate the benefits of bystander CPR and AED use and to encourage everyone to become HeartSafe. The event recognizes citizens, police, fire, dispatchers and EMS providers who performed life-saving interventions and the people they helped save.  

If someone suffers from cardiac arrest in Johnson County, there is a 66 percent chance that a bystander would perform CPR. While this is better than the national average of 40 percent, this means more than one in three people in cardiac arrest won’t benefit from life-saving chest interventions from bystanders and must wait for professional help. This wait can mean the difference between life and death.

Because 56.8 percent of sudden cardiac arrests occur in the home, if an individual is called on to give CPR in an emergency, it will most likely be an attempt to save the life of a loved one:  a child, a spouse, a parent or a friend.

For every minute that goes by without CPR, chances of survival decrease by 10 percent. Hands-only CPR has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR and does not require mouth-to-mouth breathing. It can double or even triple a victim's chance of survival.