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Video: Sudden cardiac arrest survivors under 40 raise awareness, encourage CPR training

The Citizen CPR Foundation’s 40 Under 40 Committee released a PSA on Oct. 16 to coincide with World Restart a Heat Day

By Laura French

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The Citizen CPR Foundation has released a PSA featuring sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survivors under the age of 40 to raise awareness and encourage the public to learn CPR and other lifesaving skills.

The video was launched on Oct. 16 to coincide with World Restart a Heart Day, a worldwide call to action issued by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation, and seeks to highlight the fact that SCA can happen to anyone of any age, at any time, and shouldn’t be confused with a heart attack, according to a statement from the foundation’s 40 Under 40 Committee.

“There are too many people outside of our field who don’t understand the difference between a heart attack and a sudden cardiac arrest,” said Citizen CPR Foundation President Stu Berger, MD, in a statement. Sadly, this also means they probably don’t know how to respond when it happens right in front of them — often to someone they know or love dearly.”

The PSA also outlines the steps bystanders can take to save the life of someone suffering SCA: call 911, start compressions, use an AED if available and don’t stop until first responders arrive.

“We feature actual out of hospital sudden cardiac arrest survivors under the age of 40 not only to tackle stigmas of SCA but to highlight that it can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime. With cardiac arrest, every second counts. Knowing how to recognize SCA and properly react can significantly increase survival outcomes,” stated 40 Under 40 Committee member, SCA survivor and Police Officer Brandon Griffith, who was the project lead on the video production.

Griffith experienced SCA at age 26, and was saved by his wife and a fellow police officer who performed CPR until fire/EMS crews could arrive. He said he hopes the PSA inspire members of the public to act if they ever witness an SCA.

“I am alive today because my wife and responding officer did not hesitate to act,” Griffith stated.