Onslow County working to reduce cardiac arrest deaths

Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 8:23 PM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The National Institutes of Health is making a push to improve cardiac arrest survival. It is an effort that is being embraced in parts of Eastern Carolina.

The American Heart Association says more than 350,000 cardiac arrests happen outside of the hospital each year, and 90 percent of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die.

Onslow County and Duke University are working with the National Institutes of Health.

Jason Jones with Onslow County Emergency Services explained that only eight to ten percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest cases across the state actually survive the attack.

“There has been an increase in cardiac arrest cases here in Onslow County just over the course of the pandemic. People were not going to the doctor’s office and they were dying in the home,” Jones said.

Fifty North Carolina counties, including Onslow County, are participating in a trial, which Onslow County says is funded by Duke University to search for ways to improve the cardiac arrest survival rates in the state.

Onslow County is putting its focus on automated external defibrillator education.

“Some people see AEDs as very intimidating, there’s this box that’s going to shock someone... but they are designed to be used by the bystander,” Jones said.

Jones added that the chances of survival for an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest go down ten percent every minute a victim is unconscious.

Onslow County will be providing community AED and CPR training during National EMS Week in May. The county says more details on the training will be provided closer to the event on its website.

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