Sugar Land resident enlightens public on SADS
Michelle Rhone, a Sugar Land resident, is the the Houston, Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes (SADS) Ambassador. As an Ambassador she is a part of a group of dedicated volunteers who spread the word about SADS Warning Signs and the programs and services the SADS Foundation offers. They educate, engage, and encourage others to help save young lives.
Rhone represents the SADS Foundation through speaking engagements at venues such as National SADS Foundation events/awards parties, community groups, corporations and media outlets. Rhone also attends health fairs, trade shows, talk to doctors and other health professionals, and participate in SADS Safe Schools month.
She says “as an Ambassador I network in my community, and to share my personal loss with local families who might want to hear from someone who is going through what I have gone through.”
It can happen at any time. You are walking down the street, sitting at your son or daughter’s sports event, or shopping at the mall and someone around you suddenly collapses. Would you know what to do?
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Each year about 360,000 instances of cardiac arrest occur outside of hospitals. Sadly, most are fatal. More than 90 percent of SCA victims die because they do not receive life-saving treatment with CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED) before brain damage or death occur.
Unlike a heart attack, which occurs when a blockage in a blood vessel interrupts the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart, SCA occurs when the electrical system of the heart stops working and no blood can be pumped to the rest of the body.
Despite these grim statistics, death by SCA is something we can stop. Life-saving treatments are very effective and need to be more readily available. For example, the use of an AED can increase the survival rate of SCA victims by 90 percent if used within the first few minutes of an attack. AEDs are very easy to use; the bystander receives step-by-step instructions from the machine and the AED makes the decision of whether or not the victim needs a shock.
This is the perfect time to encourage our policymakers to raise awareness of SCA and support policies such as funding the Rural and Community AED Program, which provides grants to communities to purchase AEDs and trains lay rescuers and first responders in their use. We are making progress in the battle against SCA, but more action is needed. We have the solutions; it’s time for policy makers to step in and help us stop sudden cardiac arrest.
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