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National CPR/AED Awareness Week Introduced in Congress
Date:9/19/2007

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross and American Heart Association have joined to applaud federal legislation that would designate the first week of June as "National Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Week." The bill, introduced today by U.S. Representatives John R. "Randy" Kuhl, Jr. (R-NY), and Dan Boren (D-OK) would further educate Americans about the necessity of CPR and AED training and use to reduce death and disability from sudden cardiac arrest.

"This legislation will help Americans save lives at the community level," said Rep. Kuhl. "If you suffer sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital, you have a five percent chance of survival. It doesn't have to be that way. If we can train more Americans in performing CPR and using AEDs, we can save more lives."

Approximately 325,000 Americans suffer sudden cardiac arrest each year and more than 95 percent of them die before reaching the hospital. If CPR and defibrillation are not applied within 10 minutes after sudden cardiac arrest, there is virtually no chance of survival. However, in cities where defibrillation is provided within five to seven minutes, the survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest is as high as 49 percent.

The goal of a National CPR and AED awareness week is to encourage states, cities, and towns to establish well-organized programs that provide CPR and AED trainings and increase public access to AEDs.

"Increased awareness of health issues and access to health care are both important to me," Boren said. "As the leading cause of death in the U.S., it is critical that we continue to demonstrate the dangers of heart disease and support programs that provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation training and increased public access to automated defibrillators. I am proud to help establish a nationally recognized week to help raise the awareness of these important issues."

The legislation also
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SOURCE American Red Cross
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