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Resuscitation science and technology leaders call for paradigm shift to CPR competency to save 50,000 additional lives from preventable cardiac arrest death each year by 2025

The American Heart Association and Laerdal Medical convene nation’s 30 largest health care systems to drive a new standard of patient care

DALLAS, July 26, 2018 – The American Heart Association (Association), the world’s leading voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, and Laerdal Medical (Laerdal), a major, global medical equipment and medical training products manufacturer based in Stavanger, Norway, are furthering their decades-long alliance to deliver a new standard of resuscitation quality and patient care centered on CPR competence. Attendees representing 30 of the nation’s largest health care systems today joined the inaugural RQI® 2020 Keynote and Healthcare Networking Conference in Dallas to better understand how this paradigm shift can prevent tens of thousands of preventable cardiac arrest deaths annually in U.S. hospitals.

Each year, more than 200,000 adult cardiac arrests occur in U.S. hospitals and less than 26 percent of adult patients survive. High-quality CPR is the primary component that influences survival from cardiac arrest, but there is considerable variation in monitoring, implementation and quality improvement. As a result, CPR quality varies widely between health care systems and locations. The overall odds of surviving a cardiac arrest in the U.S. can vary by as much as 42 percent between randomly selected hospitals.1

For decades, Basic Life Support training has been the CPR training standard for health care providers, requiring participants to renew their course completion card every two years. Studies show CPR skills can decay within three to six months following this training.

To meet this challenge, in 2015, the Association and Laerdal co-developed RQI, or Resuscitation Quality Improvement®. RQI is a self-directed, simulation-based performance and quality improvement program for health care professionals that offers “low-dose, high-frequency” hands-on learning sessions that provide vital CPR skills practice in 10 minutes every 90 days. RQI 2020 offers a comprehensive, end-to-end quality improvement program that will deliver higher CPR quality at a lower cost to health care systems and professionals. RQI 2020 will make its market debut in January 2019.

“The American Heart Association believes that preventable death from sudden cardiac arrest in hospitals is a public health crisis,” said Nancy Brown, American Heart Association CEO. “Our goal is to create a world where no one dies from cardiac arrest, and today, we are putting a bold stake in the ground to transform the standard of care for treating victims of preventable cardiac arrest. The power of partnerships at the intersection of science and technology, in collaboration with health care systems across the country, is the solution to save more lives and ultimately get to zero.”

The Association and Laerdal made a commitment in February to save 50,000 additional lives from in-hospital cardiac arrest each year by 2025. This is based on RQI adoption in all U.S. hospitals. Currently, there are nearly 400 U.S. hospitals that have implemented the RQI program and more than 300,000 health care providers have improved CPR competency since the program’s introduction.

“Technology has advanced to focus on health care provider competency, which can lead to transforming the quality and standard of care,” said Tore Laerdal, chairman and CEO of Laerdal Medical. “The key to success is hospital adoption and implementation of this low-dose, high- frequency learning paradigm. Our vision, Getting to Zero, is to eliminate preventable and unexpected cardiac arrest deaths in health care. The time is now to disrupt the status quo by innovating for impact and we applaud those health care systems that have taken this significant step.”

During a luncheon program, the Association and Laerdal recognized a small group of hospitals and health care systems for pioneering the adoption of innovative practices as part of the early implementation of RQI. Honorees included:

  • Seton Healthcare, Austin, Texas
  • Texas Health Resources, Dallas, Texas
  • The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio
  • University of Alabama-Birmingham Medical Center, Birmingham, Alabama
  • University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York
  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas

Today’s event exemplifies the Association and Laerdal’s commitment as strategic partners to lead innovative change in health care. Furthering this resolve was the announcement of the formation of a new joint venture partnership, RQI Partners, LLC. The company positions both organizations to deliver innovative solutions that accelerate their lifesaving mission, blending the Association’s leadership in science with Laerdal’s expertise in technology and implementation to deliver impactful resuscitation quality improvement programs.

Conference attendees also pledged their shared commitment to propel the health care industry to get to zero cardiac arrest deaths by working together to eliminate preventable cardiac arrest deaths.

For more information about RQI, visit www.rqipartners.com, heart.org and laerdal.com.To listen to the live stream recording of the RQI 2020 Keynote, visit livestreamrqi2020.com.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.orgor call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebookand Twitter.

About Laerdal Medical

Laerdal Medical, one of the world’s leading providers of health care solutions, is dedicated to helping save lives with products and services for Simulation, Airway Management, Immobilization, Basic Life Support, Advanced Life Support, Patient Care, Self-Directed Learning and Medical Education. Laerdal is pleased to serve all health care providers and educators, from the lay rescuer to medical professionals. Laerdal operates sales and support offices in 23 countries worldwide, and with the head office located in Stavanger, Norway. For more information, visit www.laerdal.com or call 877-523-7325.

For Media Inquiries:

214-706-1173

Contact:

American Heart Association: Leslie Holland; O: 214-706-1438; C: 214-354-8500;  leslie.holland@heart.org

Edelman Public Relations: Casey Delperdang; O: 713-970-2175; casey.delperdang@edelman.com

For Public Inquiries:

800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Reference:

1) Merchant, R M et al. “Hospital Variation in Survival after In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest.” Journal of the American Heart Association 3.1 (2014): e000400. Journal of the American Heart Association. Web.