Written by Matthew Wiechmann, Health Strategies Intern
More than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) occur each year, and about 90% of people who experience an OHCA do not survive. Early CPR can more than double someone’s chance at life, but less than half of those in need of CPR receive assistance from a bystander. The American Heart Association is hard at work to change these statistics and ensure at least one person in every household nationwide knows how to save a life with Hands-Only CPR.
On June 1, over 40 companies and more than 2,600 individuals attended Heart of Greater Washington Serve Day and learned how to respond in a cardiac emergency.
The event featured two powerful testimonials and an interactive Hands-Only CPR demonstration conducted by Bayside CPR & AED Training Center. Greater Washington Region Board member and CPR hero Bryan O. Buckley welcomed participants and briefly shared his story of springing into action when he witnessed a man’s heart stop on a trail in Maryland. Jaqueline Costell, President of the Kurt Rieschick Foundation, also spoke in tribute to her late brother whose life was lost to a cardiac arrest and emphasized the critical role of Hands-Only CPR in saving lives.
With participants following along and practicing at home, Hands-Only CPR instruction emphasized the two simple steps it takes to save a life: call 911 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest.
“You truly never know when you might be called on to save a life. Creating a nation of lifesavers starts with ensuring people right here in our community know how to respond in a cardiac emergency,” Soula Antoniou, Sr. Executive Director, American Heart Association said. “Thank you to our 2023 Heart Ball Chair Vishal Tulsian and SAIC for bringing Serve Day to the Greater Washington Region and helping to equip more people with the skills and confidence to save lives!”
Serve Day is an opportunity for Heart of Greater Washington supporters to take their impact beyond the ballroom and make a difference in the lives of people right here in our community. Watch the full recording of this year’s event and continue your commitment to save and improve lives by taking part in the 2024 Heart Ball, commemorating the centennial of the American Heart Association! Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 2, and join Chairs Karen & Dale White as we build on the historic momentum of our past and forge ahead into our second century of sustainable change and lifesaving impact. For sponsorship and reservation information, please email [email protected] or visit DCHeartBall.Heart.org.