UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital has launched a Heart Saver Program to give away 50 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and 100 Stop the Bleed first aid kits. First responders, ambulance crews and nonprofit organizations in Benton, Jones and Linn counties are invited to apply for one or both items by submitting an online application at unitypoint.org/HeartSaverProgram.
Deadline to apply is December 12, and recipients will be announced in February 2023, during American Heart Month.
St. Luke’s Heart Saver Program is effort to place AEDs and trauma first aid kits into the community, in order to save lives through early intervention of cardiac arrest and traumatic injuries.
Sudden cardiac arrest is a life-threatening condition caused by the unexpected loss of heart function. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Heart Association (AHA), 70 percent of cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital, and 70 to 90 percent of those individuals die before reaching the emergency room. Alternatively, nine out of 10 cardiac arrest victims who receive a shock from an AED in the first minute live.
In the event of a traumatic injury, a person can die from blood loss within minutes. Stop the Bleed is a national movement, which educates and arms bystanders to address a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives.
“CPR or use of an AED is critical for someone who suddenly loses consciousness and has stopped breathing,” explains Dr. Richard Kettelkamp, St. Luke’s Heart Care Clinic cardiologist. “Similarly, during a traumatic injury, it’s important to move quickly to stop the bleed. That’s why we think the Heart Saver Program is so important – it gives people the tools they need to start care before an ambulance crew arrives, which gives them the best chance of survival.”
St. Luke’s Heart Saver Program is funded by St. Luke’s Foundation. For more information or to apply for an AED or Stop the Bleed kit, visit unitypoint.org/HeartSaverProgram.
St. Luke’s is Cedar Rapids’ Heart Hospital. The first open heart surgery was performed at St. Luke’s in 1978. The Heart Saver Program aims to honor St. Luke’s Heart Care Team’s commitment to saving lives and raising awareness around matters of the heart.