How to Save a Life

My father died not because no one was able to help, but simply because no one knew their help was needed.

Lawrence Wolf was 45 years old when he died from cardiac arrest in his home. He left two young sons that adored him, my brother (11) and myself (9), and a wife that truly loved him. Forty yards away, however, was a neighbor that knew CPR that could’ve arrived in 60 seconds had she known my father needed help. Instead, he died without receiving CPR, a service that is proven to increase survival of cardiac arrest victims by 350%.

My father died in 1990, before smartphones and massive CPR education efforts. Twenty three years after my father’s death, my step father died of cardiac arrest in the same house. He too did not receive life saving CPR.

Today, the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross train 30 million Americans in CPR annually, with 54% of adults confident they know how to perform CPR. The technique of CPR has evolved life from a protocol that used “mouth-to-mouth” to a hands-only chest compression focused method. When my father went into cardiac arrest, he had a 10% chance of survival, just like 360,000 Americans that die from these events annually. Yet, had my neighbor provided CPR that night, his chances of survival would’ve jumped to 45%.

Since 1990, incredible progress has been to train individuals in CPR, yet cardiac arrest victim survivability has not improved in more than 12 years. It is clear that there is a need to quickly connect the many CPR responders to cardiac victims.

The time has come to create a dense digital network of life-saving heroes. Thirty years after my father’s death and seven years after my step-fathers death, the CPR Save App will be launched for trial in Santa Monica, California to save lives. Using the CPR Save APP, it is now it is possible with a push of a button on your phone or through a 911 call (in select communities) to contact the nearest CPR responder and direct them to the victim.

Has your life been affected by cardiac arrest? Do you want to help save a life? Consider joining the CPR Responder Registry, and in less that 2 minutes you can be a community responder and begin helping people in need of life saving CPR just like my father needed thirty years ago.

Matt Wolf
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