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In Focus

Increasing CPR-readiness Through our New Healthy Hearts Initiative

Imagine walking down the street when suddenly, the person walking towards you falls to the ground — their heart has stopped beating. Fortunately, you have recently completed cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training, and without hesitation, you put your new life-saving skills into action. Your quick response revives a heartbeat and provides time for paramedics to arrive at the scene.

In 2016 over 1,100 lives were lost in Philadelphia due to cardiac arrest. Many of these lives could have been saved had a bystander completed CPR training and performed CPR.

Barriers to CPR-readiness

Unfortunately, many people are afraid to perform CPR on an individual in need for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons include:

  • A lack of confidence in using the correct technique
  • A fear of harming the individual
  • Anxiety over the possibility that the individual will take legal action against a rescuer’s attempts to perform CPR

Additionally, many people think that CPR training often carries a hefty price tag and courses can often last for multiple hours, which prevent individuals from becoming trained in the first place.

Healthy Hearts: Closing the Gap on CPR-Readiness

Currently, only 20 percent of Philadelphians are CPR-trained, a statistic that is well below the national average of 40 percent.

The Independence Blue Cross Foundation’s new Healthy Hearts initiative supports prevention strategies to address cardiovascular disparities and improve survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest through CPR training, awareness, and promotion. Through this initiative, the Foundation has partnered with several organizations that share our goals to improve survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest and detection of conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest through increasing access to free CPR and AED education/training and free heart screenings for children.

Partnering With Local Organizations to Offer CPR Training

There are several area organizations that provide the community with free resources to become CPR-trained and have the confidence to intervene during crisis. We’re proud to join with these community partners to increase the number of Philadelphians who are CPR-trained.

The Mobile CPR Project: The Mobile CPR Project delivers free CPR education and training to community members through a 30-minute training session and video. This initiative is overseen by Penn Medicine’s Center for Resuscitation Science and is looking for interested community groups to sign up for a free group training session.

The CPR-Ready Campaign’s CPR Awareness Coalition: This coalition is comprised of the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, CPR/AED Public Awareness and Training Network, The Health Care Improvement Foundation, Independence Blue Cross, Independence Blue Cross Foundation, Penn Medicine, The Philadelphia Fire Department, and the School District of Philadelphia. One of the main goals of the CPR Coalition is to triple the bystander CPR rate in Philadelphia. Help achieve the Coalition’s goal by becoming CPR-ready.

Simon’s Fund: This organization is dedicated to raising awareness about the conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest and death in young athletes and children. By increasing access to free EKG exams coupled with innovation and education, Simon’s Fund has designed successful strategies that have detected conditions in children before a cardiac episode occurs. Learn more about Simon’s Fund initiatives.

Claire Trindle

Claire Trindle joined Independence Blue Cross Foundation in 2016. In her current role as a program specialist, Claire oversees the grant administration of the Building Healthier Communities grant program. Her prior professional experience includes substance abuse prevention, community health education, and clinical health research. Claire has a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health from Temple University.