Northwestern Medicine

Northwestern Medicine, Metra and the American Heart Association Team Up on Lifesaving Tips

Northwestern Memorial Hospital June 02, 2015

CPR and AED Demonstrations at Metra Stations

CHICAGO, IL – Metra, Northwestern Medicine and the American Heart Association are teaming up to provide lifesaving demonstrations at several Metra stations as well as all downtown Chicago stations on Thursday, June 4, 2015, during the morning rush period from 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Metra customers will get a quick education on the correct way to administer the new hands-only CPR method and a quick tutorial on how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). These demonstrations are being offered in recognition of National CPR and AED Awareness Week, June 1-7, a time when the public is being encouraged to learn how to save a life with CPR and AEDs.

Northwestern Medicine and American Heart Association representatives will be at Millennium Station (Randolph and Michigan) and Chicago Union Station (Jackson and Canal). (Media are encouraged to come by Millennium between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m.) Other Northwestern Medicine station locations are: Ogilvie Transportation Center (500 W. Madison) and LaSalle Street Station (LaSalle & Van Buren). The American Heart Association will also be at the Arlington Heights Station (45 W. Northwest Hwy.), Wheaton Station (402 W. Front St.) and Tinley Park Station (17381 S. Oak Park Ave.).

“Knowing what to do in an emergency situation can mean the difference between life and death. We are proud to partner with Northwestern Medicine and the American Heart Association to bring these lifesaving tips to our customers,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno. “I am confident this will be helpful information when needed.

Metra and Northwestern Medicine, the strategic alliance of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, teamed up with Cardiac Science in 2012 to raise awareness and support for AEDs on Metra trains. The partnership led to the installation of some 425 AEDs throughout Metra’s system. A defibrillator is an electronic device that gives an electric shock to the heart. This helps reestablish a normal heart rhythm in a heart having arrhythmiaor in cardiac arrest*. Approximately 300 AEDs have been installed on all Metra trains, with another 125 outfitted throughout work facilities and Metra police vehicles.

“Performing CPR and using an AED are both very easy to do,” said Northwestern Medicine’s Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology Dr. Bradley Knight. “Anyone can use an AED and anyone can perform CPR. The most important thing to do is to become familiar with both and to get involved when your help is needed.”

Dr. Knight is also Medical Director for the Center of Heart Rhythm Disorders at Northwestern’s Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute. He emphasized that a sudden cardiac arrest happens when the electrical system of the heart malfunctions suddenly. It occurs when electrical impulses that tell the heart to pump blood become rapid or chaotic. This causes the heart to stop pumping blood to the brain and vital organs, which in most cases leads to death. The only treatment for cardiac arrest is a shock to the heart. Early use of AEDs and CPR can help prevent someone from dying of cardiac arrest. Every day people can become “first responders” in a sense, by administering assistance while awaiting emergency response professionals. “Every second counts,” he added.

The American Heart Association will present a 60-second hands-only CPR demonstration with the assistance of the ever-popular “mini-Annie” manikin. Hands-only CPR has two steps: 1) call 911, and 2) push hard and fast in the center of the chest.

“Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time.  There are more than 380,000 out-of-hospital cases of cardiac arrest each year in the United States, and effective bystander CPR can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival,” said President of the American Heart Association’s Metro Chicago Board of Directors Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones. “The American Heart Association is excited to join Metra and Northwestern Medicine to teach the public skills they need to save a life.”

Media Contact

Kara Spak
Manager, Media Relations
Northwestern Memorial Hospital kspak@nm.org 312.926.0755
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