General Cardiology Health Care

Staying Alive — Start The Heart Foundation taking off in Louisville

My friend and colleague William Dillon (@wmdillon) is an interventional cardiologist. He and his wife Sally have started a non-profit foundation called Start the Heart Foundation. Their goal is to improve survival of patients who suffer cardiac arrest in Louisville Kentucky. The odds of surviving cardiac arrest here in Louisville are dismal: more than 90% die.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 6.21.25 AMStart the Heart Foundation uses a novel means to achieve their goal. They send premedical student interns to the community to teach hands-only CPR. The youngsters go to schools, corporations and community centers. They teach and teach and teach.

The local TV station WHAS11 aired this story yesterday. Veteran journalist Rachel Platt did a fantastic job. The coverage includes a man whose wife used CPR to save his life.

There is a lot to like about the Start the Heart Foundation. The organization is gaining traction in the community. We look forward to a day when our city can boast cardiac arrest survival rates similar to those in Seattle Washington or Rochester Minnesota.

The website has a button for tax-deductible donations.

One closing note: People who learn CPR are most likely to use their skills on a loved one. That’s big.


Full disclosure: I am a board member of Start the Heart Foundation

4 replies on “Staying Alive — Start The Heart Foundation taking off in Louisville”

Thanks Ken. I agree. Rachel Platt and WHAS did a terrific job. They deserve credit for the professionalism of their coverage of this important topic. Journalism is supposed to serve the greater good of the community. They did this.

Would you please comment on the outcomes of CPR? In the NYT there have been a couple of articles about broken ribs, broken sternums and diminished capacity after CPR. These are injuries that require recovery, and in the elderly are significant. I’m 62, my husband is 68 and we are firmly on the fence as to whether or not we would want CPR. Living is good, but living in a diminished state with brain damage is not appealing. What happens to people after CPR? I don’t know how to make a decision on this because I can’t find any good data.

This is why the movement to require CPR certification as a requirement for high school graduation is so important. That is the most cost effective method to certify the greatest number of individuals.

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