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Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association Launches Its First Thirteen Local Chapters/Affiliates
Date:1/8/2008

Local Groups Will Work to Prevent Sudden Cardiac Arrest Through Public Education and Advocacy

SCAA Expects to Have 25 Chapters/Affiliates by This Spring

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association (SCAA) announced today that it has launched its first 13 local chapter and affiliate organizations, as it builds a network of local organizations to help carry out its mission of preventing sudden cardiac arrest.

The local chapters and affiliates will bring together sudden cardiac arrest survivors, patients, medical and emergency professionals and community leaders to carry out public education and advocacy programs and activities. Programs and projects will include broader deployment of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and CPR training, better public/patient awareness of sudden cardiac arrest, and improved screening and access to medical care for individuals who may be at risk.

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a leading killer in the U.S., striking more than 350,000 annually, with a survival rate of only about five percent. The death rate for SCA exceeds the combined death rate of breast cancer, lung cancer, stroke and HIV/AIDS. SCA is triggered by an electrical problem with the heart that causes the heart to stop beating, and is often confused with a heart attack. SCA victims can often be revived with quick access to defibrillation to shock the heart back into rhythm. While there are more AEDs in public facilities and more patients implanted with Internal Cardiac Defibrillators (ICDs), broader AED deployment and better patient understanding of the condition is critical to improving the odds of survival.

The first set of local chapters and affiliates include:

-- Austin, Texas

-- Cape Cod and the Islands, Massachusetts

-- Iowa (statewide organization based in Des Moines)

-- Kansas City (Kansas and Missouri)

-- Long Island, New York

-- Lubbock, Texas

-- Minnesota (Minneapolis-St. Paul and Rochester)

-- Northwestern Minnesota

-- Queens, New York

-- South Florida

-- Southeastern Massachusetts

-- Southwestern Connecticut

-- Western Maine

"We have identified a committed group of local community leaders and volunteers who have enthusiastically responded to our plans for a national network of local chapters and affiliates," said Chris Chiames, SCAA's executive director. "So many people have been touched by sudden cardiac arrest and we are heartened by the response of people who want to help. While we work to expand our national presence and influence, we are going to rely on our local chapters and affiliates to make the real impact in their communities through education and advocacy."

Chiames said that SCAA is in discussions with SCA survivors, emergency response professionals, doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, and patients about forming the next group of chapters and affiliates, and he expects to have at least 25 local chapters and affiliates in place by this spring. "There is no one model to forming a local SCAA organization. People from all walks of life and all kinds of interests are stepping forward because of their personal experience with SCA, and they know that our organization can make a difference in saving lives through better public response and better public education."

SCAA is based in Washington, DC and is singularly focused on the issue of sudden cardiac arrest. Along with the Heart Rhythm Society, a professional association for electrophysiology and heart rhythm physician specialists, SCAA co-chairs the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Coalition -- a broad-based alliance of more than 30 patient, physician and medical industry organizations. SCAA provides its local chapters and affiliates with financial and operational support and a broad program of projects and activities that can be tailored to the interests and needs of the local community. For more information on SCAA and its local chapter/affiliate program, please visit http://www.suddencardiacarrest.org.


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SOURCE Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association
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