By Connie Martin Bozeman Deaconess Hospital

BOZEMAN – After prompt bystander action saved a couple local citizens, American Medical Response and Bozeman Deaconess Hospital have joined several emergency response groups in the region to create the Gallatin Heart Rescue Project.

The project kicks off Feb. 14 at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. Community leaders will learn about Adult Hands-Only CPR training, and local survivors, bystanders and the emergency crews who responded to the 911 calls will talk about their experiences.

The critical first step to increasing survival is recognizing cardiac arrest and reacting appropriately. Most Americans are aware that they are expected to activate the EMS system in an emergency and are more than willing to dial 911. However, taking the next step to actively intervene is challenging. Nationwide, only about 25-30 percent of cardiac arrest victims receive any CPR prior to the arrival of a 911 responder.

“If CPR is not provided to a sudden cardiac arrest victim in the first few minutes, the victim will likely die or suffer permanent brain damage,” says Dr. James Majxner, Deaconess’s emergency services medical director.

Instead of waiting and taking no action after activating the EMS system, the Gallatin Heart Rescue program wants bystanders to intervene with lifesaving CPR.
The project aims to train 5,000 people how to do Adult Hands-Only CPR, raise public awareness and improve local survival rates.

Adult Hands-Only CPR can be taught in approximately 30 minutes and does not require mouth-to-mouth or mask-to-mouth breathing.

Dr. Majxner says Bozeman is the first facility/community in the country working with an American Medical Response grant to implement the Duke University Medtronics-developed ‘Heart Rescue’ program.

Each month, the program will offer several short, free training seminars for the community, businesses, university, schools, clubs, civic and religious groups.
Bozeman cardiac arrest survival rates are within the national average of 8-11 percent. In Seattle, where bystander CPR training is widespread, the survival rate is 52 percent.