Each year, more than 350,000 Americans suffer cardiac arrest outside of a hospital and only 11% survive. It is a leading cause of death in New Jersey and across the nation and the only way to save a victim is through quick CPR and defibrillation. October is the perfect time to learn more about sudden cardiac arrest because it is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month.
Over the past few years, New Jersey has made great progress in passing policies that may help improve sudden cardiac arrest survival rates. In recent years, the Garden State has extended civil liability immunity to all people who use an AED in good faith during an emergency, regardless of their training status and beginning in September 2014, all schools will be required to have an AED on the premises whenever the school is open and to have an emergency response plan in place.
The momentum has continued into 2013, with a bill moving through the legislature that will require all school sports coaches to receive CPR certification and provide information to student athletes and their parents about sudden cardiac arrest. We are also hopeful that CPR instruction will become a requirement for all high school students in NJ in the near future.
Although Sudden Cardiac Arrest often strikes without warning, quick action is the key to saving the life of someone who suffers from this event. Please take a few moments during the month of October to educate yourself and your loved ones on the symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest and how to react quickly and appropriately to save a life.