Saving Lives With ‘Chain Of Survival’

Pamela Young
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Wednesday - January 13, 2010
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Aloha Pamela,

I would like to say a word regarding your piece about Pancho, who had suffered a cardiac arrest at a local soccer game. From the article, it appears that everyone who responded worked in the field of EMS or medicine. Pancho was one lucky guy to have so many trained rescuers respond so quickly. He had a 5 percent chance of surviving that event, and because of the fast action of those around him, he was able to survive an event that 95 percent of victims will not.

When a victim experiences a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), he/she must receive immediate help. The American Heart Association’s “Chain of Survival” is easy to learn and must occur immediately for a victim of SCA to survive:

* Early Access: Recognize the victim is unresponsive and not breathing normally and call 911 immediately and get an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

* Early CPR: Learn the new hands-only technique. Start pushing on the center of the chest at the rate of 100 times per minute. You do not even need to give mouth-to-mouth if you do not want to.

* Early Defibrillation: Attach an AED as soon as available and follow the voice prompts. The AED will talk to you and tell you what to do.

* Early Advanced Care.

Since 2007, the Hawaii AED law states no liability to any citizen who performs CPR or uses an AED.

Please help spread the word about this new and improved law.

My APPLAUSE goes to my friend Sharon Maekawa, who sent me your article. In May, her 28-year-old daughter, Kristin Maekawa Claudi, experienced a sudden cardiac arrest. Unfortunately Kristin did not survive. Since Kristin’s passing, Sharon has become a huge advocate for citizens learning CPR and having AEDs available. In November, the Maekawa family implemented the donation of an AED and training to Liholiho Elementary School, and additional AEDs will be going to Moanalua and Wilson schools in January with plans for an AED to be donated to Momilani Elementary the following month. Sharon Maekawa is truly my hero!

Pamela Foster, RN
AHA Community Strategy

Council for Hawaii

Dear Pamela,

Mahalo for sharing the “Chain of Survival” with our readers. And the Maekawa family deserves a standing ovation for turning tragedy into a much-needed campaign to educate young people on the steps that could lead to saving a life.

(If you know someone who deserves some Applause, send your letters to Pamela Young, MidWeek Applause, KITV, 801 S. King St., Honolulu, HI, 96813 or e-mail Include your name, phone number and, if possible, the phone number of your “applaudee” so we can contact him or her.)

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