Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of global mortality, accounting for more than 17 million deaths annually (Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, 2014). In addition, the prevalence of heart disease is increasing while the survival rates for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) outside the hospital remain relatively low, ranging from just 2 to 11%. The survival rates for in-hospital SCA are only slightly better at 25%.
The Commitment to Improving CPR is Personal
Solving big problems in healthcare, like the low rate of success for resuscitation, is part of HealthStream’s DNA and a principle that we’ve enshrined in our corporate constitution. Promoting high quality CPR also embodies the HealthStream Vision, which is to improve the quality of healthcare by assessing and developing the people who deliver care. But this is more than just a business goal at HealthStream. Improving resuscitation becomes very personal when we consider that a close friend or family member may be affected by that low percentage of CPR success. Our goal is to improve resuscitation outcomes by helping many more healthcare professionals learn, adopt, and practice the latest science-based resuscitation guidelines.
HealthStream’s commitment to improving resuscitation rates is demonstrated across a wide swath of our workforce. When we spoke with employees, we were amazed at the impact CPR has had among them and their families. Here is one example:
James Wilber, Product Manager
Prior to joining HealthStream as a Product Manager, James Wilber was a Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Nurse at Vanderbilt Medical Center. He was just completing his tenure when his outlook on resuscitation changed dramatically. James shares, “One of my last days at Vanderbilt I had lamented that I would never have the chance to do CPR again, because I had done it so many times in the hospital.” Little did he know!
While Wilber was driving home with his family from dinner one night, the car ahead of him suddenly stopped. The driver in front ran back to Wilber’s car and exclaimed that she had just hit a pedestrian in the dark. Wilber immediately jumped out and directed his wife to get out of the line of sight to spare the family from seeing something gruesome. He followed the other driver over to the man lying on the ground, partly under the car, with no pulse. Wilber went into motion, automatically. He adds, “I immediately started doing CPR; hands-only because of the nature of his injuries. I did that for about two minutes; then the police and EMS showed up and took over from there. I don't know what happened to him. I wasn’t ever able to learn more.” Wilber tell us this emergency was “the first time I’d ever done CPR outside of a hospital.”
Wilber offers, “All the times I had done CPR before were in a controlled hospital setting. In the critical care unit, it was part of the job. It never really registered that people would go into cardiac arrest outside the hospital. When I came upon that accident scene, it really just became instinctive. I was able to take my training and just immediately go to work to perform CPR on the gentleman. You are doing CPR before you even think about it.”
Wilber adds, “In my role here at HealthStream, I’ve had the privilege of talking to numerous customers who have said the same thing—that it’s so important to have that training, so that using it is something you do without even thinking. You just naturally do CPR.”
Wilber reminds us, “Whenever you learn these skills, you’re not learning it just for treating patients in the hospital. With the high percentage of cardiac arrests that happen out in the community, high-quality CPR training helps you to be prepared for any situation. When I was a HealthStream trainer I spoke with a nurse who went to the dentist after day one of training. While there, an infant choked and went into cardiac arrest. The nurse was able to perform CPR successfully because of the training we had done that day. She felt that she was placed in that situation for that reason.”
Watch as Wilber, and other HealthStream employees, share their stories.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, “AHA Releases 2015 Heart and Stroke Statistics,” 12/30/2014, retrieved at http://www.sca-aware.org/sca-news/aha-releases-2015-heart-and-stroke-statistics.
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