LACONIA — The Lakes Region Rotary Club meeting on April 29 featured speaker Rebecca J. Doherty, Annual Fund and Special Events Manager for LRGHeathcare.
Doherty briefly discussed the 10th anniversary of Red Dress Gala held earlier this year. She also discussed how the monies raised from that event were spent. Most of the monies raised were used to purchase the Lucas Chest Compression System, a CPR mechanical device.
According to Doherty, LRGH has donated numerous devices in the past to local fire departments (Franklin and Laconia) and ambulance service providers. Based upon this year's event they were able to buy 6 more units and have donated them to several cities and towns, including Andover, Sanbornton, Gilmanton, Belmont, Bristol and New Hampton.
Doherty went to explain the following, "Sudden cardiac arrest remains a leading cause of death in the Western world. Although the average age is around 70, sudden cardiac arrest can strike even the young and athletic. The majority, 95% of all patients, die before they reach the hospital. Unfortunately these figures have not changed throughout the years. If advanced care is readily available, maybe as high as 25-30% of all patients could survive."
Cardiac arrest – or "clinical death" – occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops pumping and the blood circulation halts. The patient quickly becomes unconscious, without any subsequent breathing or pulse. As high as 70% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests are caused by cardiac events. There is however a wide range of other events that can cause a cardiac arrest; for example drowning, asthma, anaphylactic shock or traffic accidents.
Sudden clinical death can be reversible if the patient receives immediate care and the cause of the arrest can be found and treated appropriately. If in this critical situation the rescuer should call for help and immediately start chest compressions to sustain blood flow to the patient's brain. An early shock from a defibrillator device can potentially restart the heart's pumping function. This together with advanced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) provided by swift-acting paramedics and followed by attentive hospital care are an integral part of the rescue activities that are called the chain of survival.
To learn more about the Lucas Chest Compression System and how the devices can save people who are having cardiac arrest visit their website at www.lucas-cpr.com. For more information about the Lakes Region Rotary Club visit their website at www.lakesregionrotary.org.