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Bringing Cardiac Health Awareness and Safety to the Youth in our Community

Research has proven that Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is happening to thousands of seemingly healthy youth across our nations. The Mac Greeman Foundation (MGF) is committed to raising awareness of the issues surrounding SCA in our youth and assists with the critical components that may directly save lives.

1. “Making Portable Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) available at schools, youth events, and throughout the community at large.”

An AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses a life-threatening heart rhythm and is able to treat it through defibrillation (the application of electric therapy) which stops the arrhythmia allowing the heart to reestablish a normal rhythm
. • For a victim experiencing SCA the only effective treatment is to deliver an electric shock using a device called AED. 
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  • Without the aid of AED/CPR the overall survival rate is approximately only 5% for children.
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  • Every second counts. For each minute that passes without defibrillation and CPR, the chance of survival from SCA decreases by 7-10%.
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  • When a cardiac arrest victim is shocked with an AED within the first minute of collapsing, the chances for survival are close to 90%. And, within the next three minutes the survival rate is closer to 74%.
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  • Brain death and permanent death starts to occur in just 4-6 minutes. 
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  • The average emergency medical services (EMS) response time nationwide is over 8 minutes. 
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Ensuring portable defibrillators are readily available when an individual is undergoing a cardiac event will greatly increase the survival rate.

The Mac Greeman Foundation’s Mac Pac Program is committed to making AED’s available to schools and youth organizations. In addition to providing AED's our program offers training assistance, education about symptoms, warning signs, and prevention of SCA.
THE MAC PAC AED APPLICATION

2. “Promoting Electrocardiograms (EKG) heart screening to be provided with all youth physicals”

Improving health examinations to include heart screening could identify potential cardiac distress issues prior to those youth engaging in activities that could lead to sudden death. An EKG is a simple, painless, non-invasive baseline test that measures the electrical activity of the heart. 
  • Early detection is crucial Most youth who suffer SCA have an undetected heart condition. A thorough family history and physical examination including an EKG or ECG test may help detect approximately sixty percent of the heart conditions that can lead to SCA. 
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  • In 2009, Texas had 10 sudden cardiac arrests in children ALL of whom had conditions that were NOT detected by routine checkups. However, the pre-existing heart conditions those children had would have been detected by a simple heart screening. 
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Heart screening programs for children can identify cardiac problems and will save lives.

The lack of a national database documenting SCA/SCD in our youth raises serious concerns to the following:

Feasibility, logistics and cost of mandatory nationwide youth screenings. Some of the questions up for debate surrounding screenings are; who should be screened? At what age, and how often? The Sudden Death in the Youth Registry, a pilot program, has begun collecting data regarding SCD in youth and also what significance screening youth may potentially play in preventing SCA/SCD. This, however, is only happening in a small number of states which have received funding.
As a result, the obligation lies with us, individually and collectively throughout our communities to learn of resources available to you in your area and a demand that we spread this information. The more people we can encourage to participate in screenings will improve our chances of learning more about the causes and possible prevention's of SCD. There are many foundations and organizations across the U.S. thatorganize heart screenings throughout the community.

The Mac Greeman Foundation promotes heart screenings in broad, and would like to encourage everyone to visit screenacrossamerica.org as a great starting point for learning more about screening opportunities available to you.

Currently there is no mandated youth heart screening in the U.S.

Get screened

3. - “Providing educational material that help’s raise awareness to organizations and individuals throughout the community.”

Awareness is the key to reducing Sudden Cardiac Arrest in our youth. Improving health examinations to include heart screening could identify potential cardiac distress issues prior to engaging in activities that could lead to sudden death. Ensuring portable defibrillators are readily available for use when an individual is undergoing a cardiac event will greatly increase the survival rate. 

The Mac Greeman Foundation will produce educational material to bring awareness to our youth, their families and the community at large about cardiac health issues and their critical warning signs. We will do this alongside our awardees through our AED program. In addition, the Mac Greeman Foundation will commit to introducing the prevalence of SCD/SCA in our youth. 

We will support any and every effort made towards the advancement of knowledge surrounding SCA, and the preventative measures that need to become mandated and put into practice to become the standard. 

Together with your support we can create a safe playing field for our youth! 

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