ROANOKE, VA (JANUARY 12, 2022)- When then 16-year-old Lucas Hager suffered a cardiac arrest during his high school basketball game in 2017, he recalled thinking, “I never thought something like this would happen to me, I was healthy.” Fortunately, high quality bystander Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) saved his life. He graduated from high school in 2019 and is now employed and engaged to be married in November 2022.
Lucas was fortunate since currently less than 10% of victims of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survive neurologically intact. However, if an AED is used within 3 minutes of cardiac arrest, survival can be as high as 70% (Valenzuela et al, New England Journal of Medicine, 2000.N Engl J Med. 2000; 343: pp. 1206-1209.) The Compress and Shock Foundation has crafted a bill to increase cardiac arrest survival by incentivizing Virginians to purchase an AED at the time of a new or used vehicle purchase. The bill includes a dollar for dollar state tax credit if an AED is purchased within 30 days of vehicle purchase at a participating dealership. This bill is the center of a statewide campaign by the Compress and Shock Foundation to increase bystander CPR and early use of an AED. “Every victim of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest deserves bystander CPR and early use of an AED,” said Dr. Jack Perkins, Emergency Medicine physician and Executive Director of the Compress and Shock Foundation. “These life skills give the victim the best chance of returning to their loved ones. Essentially a victim’s survival is determined by the general public.”
Dr. Jack Perkins
Delegate Kaye Kory (Fairfax) is sponsoring this bill with Delegate Sam Rasoul (Roanoke) as a co-patron. Roanoke City Council has adopted this bill as part of their 2022 legislative agenda and this bill is being co-presented by the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation. Both the Virginia chapter of the American College of Emergency Medicine Physicians and the Virginia Heart Attack Coalition have endorsed this bill as has Gwyneth's Gift Foundation, which successfully lobbied for related AED legislation in Virginia in 2013. Virginia citizen and cardiac arrest survivor Twila Rankin suffered a cardiac arrest in her home in Fincastle, VA. “I went into sudden cardiac arrest the evening of December 23, 2020, and am alive today because of my husband David,” she said. “He began immediate CPR and continued until the arrival of Botetourt Emergency Medical Services. The EMS team used an AED to shock me . . . I am a survivor and have quality of life because CPR and an AED were used within that very small window of time that allowed for a complete recovery. Most victims of cardiac arrest are not as fortunate as me because they didn’t have access to an AED in enough time to make that difference.”
David and Twila Rankin
This legislation will be accompanied by a statewide advertising campaign both serving as outreach to and education for Virginians to empower them to be part of a concentrated approach to changing out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival. The lives saved from early access to AEDs will keep Virginians in the workforce and reduce healthcare costs overall as there will be fewer survivors who are neurologically devastated and require years of long-term care. Key additional aspects of this legislation include educational opportunities both virtually and in-person to ensure citizens are trained in CPR and AED use and there is a detailed plan to place in-ground AEDs in lower socioeconomic areas of Virginia. About The Compress and Shock Foundation Established in 2017, The Compress and Shock Foundation is a 501(c)(3) physician-led nonprofit based out of Roanoke, VA, that exists to teach the life skills of quality chest compressions and early AED use to everyone for free. The Compress and Shock Foundation has trained over 2,700 laypeople and aims to establish a National CPR and AED Education Day on the third Saturday of every May.