Some find their hearts beating fasters and others find their hearts broken as they face Valentine’s Day each February. The holiday and corresponding American Heart Month are a consistent reminder of the impact of cardiovascular disease on South Dakotans. As the long-standing leading cause of death in South Dakota, many cardiac events happen in the community.
The South Dakota Cardiovascular Collaborative (SD CC) has a designated workgroup focused on improving response to acute cardiovascular incidents. Increasing the number of designated Cardiac Ready Communities is among the list of priorities.
“The purpose of the Cardiac Ready Community program is to increase the survival of individuals experiencing cardiac events in communities,” Diane Eide, BSN, RN, program manager for the South Dakota Foundation for Medical and lead for the Cardiac Ready Community program. “Rural communities often lack access to emergency care. Providing training and equipment allows the community to provide the basic early emergency care that can save lives.”
Cardiac Ready Communities, with the support of the South Dakota Department of Health and the American Heart Association- SD, strive to help communities improve the chances that anyone suffering a sudden cardiac arrest will have the best possible chance for survival. Interested communities can submit a letter of intent and receive support to work through the steps to achieve the designation by establishing the “chain of survival”.
Early access to emergency care
Early advance medical care
Post-cardiac arrest care
Eide provides support and assistance for communities seeking designation. “We are working to revise the criteria to make it easier for smaller South Dakota communities. The programs help them evaluate their readiness for a cardiac event, including planning, development, CPR and AED training and AED location identification. It is important for the communities in SD to be prepared to use the “chain of survival” to manage a cardiac event.”