UI Health Leads Life-Saving Partnership


UI Hospital To Receive $2.5 Million for Heart Rescue Project in Illinois


(Pictured, Left: As Gov. Pat Quinn watches, former Cubs pitcher Dave Otto demonstrates CPR at a press conference announcing Illinois Heart Rescue.)

It can happen anywhere, anytime: someone collapses — on the street, in the office, even at home — and stops breathing.

What happens next can mean the difference between life and death. And with a little bit of training, you can make that difference.

UI Health is taking the lead in a collaboration of health professionals, community groups, hospitals, EMS systems and governments across Illinois to make sure that, in an emergency, there is a bystander who knows what to do.

UI Health received a $2.5 million grant from the Medtronic Foundation to coordinate Illinois Heart Rescue. The program’s goal: over five years, increase the survival rate for sudden cardiac arrest in Illinois from the current 4 percent to 20 percent.

 “In sudden cardiac arrest, a few seconds of time can make a lifetime of difference,” said Terry Vanden Hoek, professor and chair of emergency medicine and project leader.

“The Medtronic Foundation has given us an opportunity to help the people of Illinois make that difference.”

Gov. Pat Quinn announced the new initiative at an Aug. 22 press conference at the Chicago Fire Academy.

Besides UI Health, other leaders in Illinois Heart Rescue include the Chicago Fire Department, Chicago EMS System, Illinois Department of Public Health and Chicago Cardiac Arrest Resuscitation Education Service.

Illinois Heart Rescue will work to strengthen three links in the chain of survival: bystander CPR, resuscitation by emergency medical responders on the way to the hospital, and treatment at the hospital.

“Our experience at UI Hospital working with diverse, underserved populations, will play an important role in developing the community initiative,” Vanden Hoek said.

Through community health fairs, social media, athletic events and other activities, Illinois Heart Rescue will offer free instruction to spread the message that, in the first moments, a knowledgeable bystander who begins CPR can save a life.

“If you see someone collapse, the message is simple: Call 911. Start doing chest compressions, 100 beats per minute and two inches deep. Call for someone to bring an AED and use it,” said Amer Aldeen, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Northwestern University, co-director of CCARES and Illinois Heart Rescue community liaison.

For 911 dispatchers, EMTs, firefighters and paramedics, Illinois Heart Rescue will offer simulation training at the Chicago Fire Academy and centers in Peoria and Evanston.

“We will bring the science of cardiac-arrest resuscitation to the streets,” said Eric Beck, Chicago’s EMS medical director and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago.

“Simple things like high-quality, uninterrupted chest compressions and limiting patient movement during cardiac arrest have been shown to dramatically improve survival.”

At hospitals, Illinois Heart Rescue will provide a link to post-cardiac-arrest care experts, similar to the highly successful Illinois Poison Control Center.

Almost 30 hospitals throughout Illinois will collect data on survival rates and push for state-of-the-art care.

 “One of the missing links in the ‘chain of survival’ is data,” said Joseph Weber, Chicago EMS director, emergency medicine physician at Stroger Cook County Hospital and assistant professor at Rush Medical College.

Other grant partners include the American Heart Association, Chicago Cubs, American Red Cross, Chicago Department of Public Health and many community organizations.

“Illinois Heart Rescue has an enormous potential to save lives in Chicago and suburban and rural communities throughout the state,” Vanden Hoek said.

“The unprecedented collaboration from so many Illinois institutions gives us a foundation we believe can be sustained and serve as a model for other states.”

(Original story online at  http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/uicnews/articledetail.cgi?id=16603)