NEW! In June 2013, the 'Arrest the Risk" campaign was selected as the 2013 Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Silver Anvil award winner in the category of Multicultural Public Relations – Associations/Government/Nonprofit Organizations.
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is one of the leading causes of death in the United States each year, and approximately 95 percent of people who experience the condition die as a result.
While treatment guidelines recommend implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) as the standard of care for patients at risk for SCA, a large percentage of patients at highest risk are not receiving this life-saving treatment.
Specifically, SCA represents a significant example of racial disparities in healthcare where access to quality cardiac care and life-saving ICD therapies are limited. The condition disproportionately impacts minorities – particularly African Americans.
In October 2012, the Heart Rhythm Society launched a multi-year, national awareness campaign, "Arrest the Risk” in an effort to elevate the issue of SCA prevention, early intervention, and appropriate treatment among the African-American populations; increase awareness of disparities at point of care; and positively impact SCA mortality and re-hospitalization rates in the U.S.
To drive home the importance of treatment and prevention of SCA through grassroots efforts in at-risk communities, HRS has partnered with the Association of Black Cardiologists. The two organizations are working with healthcare providers and African American community leaders in 10 cities with at-risk populations including Atlanta; Chicago; Dallas; Baltimore; New Orleans; Washington, D.C.; Jackson, Miss.; Nashville, Tenn.; Detroit; New Orleans; and Oakland, Calif.
In addition, Walter Clair, MD, FHRS of Vanderbilt University; Kevin Thomas, MD of Duke University; and Emmy-award winning journalist, Shaun Robinson, are lending their voices and support to the campaign.
This initiative is designed to overcome the barriers to proper diagnosis and treatment of SCA through educational resources, experiences of physicians and SCA survivors told through the media, as well as a powerful public service announcement featuring Robinson.
In conjunction with the campaign, HRS commissioned a national survey of more than 1,500 adult consumers and 300 physicians in the U.S. to help identify current awareness levels and perceptions of SCA.
The “Arrest the Risk” Device Disparity Initiative is supported by an unrestricted grant from Medtronic, Inc.