There is a three-year life expectancy gap, on average, between rural and urban populations, with rural areas having higher death rates for cardiovascular disease and stroke than urban areas. Residents living in one of Colorado’s rural communities, face their own unique healthcare challenges like insufficient access to primary care and other healthcare services, and longer response times from ambulatory services. This results in poorer health outcomes, higher costs, and higher acuity conditions at the time of treatment.
Most of Colorado is in fact considered rural. The Colorado Rural Health Center’s 2022 Snapshot of Rural Health in Colorado states that 77% of the state’s landmass is considered rural, with a population of over 722,000 people.
The American Heart Association is committed to addressing the unique health needs of people living in rural communities. One way the organization is working to improve the health of communities around the state is through the Building a Community of Lifesavers. Thanks to a very generous gift from Global Medical Response (GMR), the American Heart Association can get the lifesaving skills of CPR into the hands of rural communities around the state.
Through the support from GMR, the Building a Community of Lifesavers program will strengthen the chain of survival through CPR and AED training in rural schools throughout the state. The program aims to improve resuscitation outcomes by working with 115 rural school districts to adopt CPR training guidelines, execute cardiac emergency response plans, and provide them with critical CPR training as well as AED training and placement.
By teaching more students this lifesaving skill, they can be better prepared for any emergency. This community-driven initiative was built to enhance and sustain healthy neighborhoods, strengthen the commitment to heart health, and increase the safety and cardiac response times among faculty, staff, students, and community members around Colorado.
Over 350,000 people suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrest every year and, only ten percent survive. However, when CPR is performed immediately, the survival rate can double or triple chances of survival after cardiac arrest.
Our hands can do so many things, the most important of which may be saving someone’s life. The power is in your hands! To learn the two steps in Hands-Only CPR, visit https://cpr.heart.org/en/cpr-courses-and-kits/hands-only-cpr.
Learn more about what a cardiac emergency response plan entails by visiting, https://cpr.heart.org/en/training-programs/nation-of-heartsavers/cardiac-emergency-response-plan.