CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Fundraising efforts will help organizations get AEDs and CPR kits in Cape Girardeau and Jackson.
Southeast Health Ambassadors and the foundation will begin local non-profits with AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) who need them.
It started in 2016 where the Cape Girardeau Fire Department chose to help educate those receiving these AEDs along with healthcare workers to make sure those who have the AEDs understand how to use them and maintain them properly.
"If we train people with CPR and have an AED quickly available, the chances of restarting the heart and having a good outcome increases significantly," Director if Cardiovascular Outreach Debbie Leoni said.
Ambassadors started raising funds for the HeartStrong Fund of the Southeast Health Foundation.
"We know with so many people having heart attacks or heart issues that the longer that somebody goes without any kind of intervention, the poorer their chance of survival," Leoni said. "So for every minute without intervention, seven to ten increased chance they will not survive or have a good outcome."
The program will distribute 10 AEDs and CPR kits in September to organizations.
Organizations can apply for the AEDs by visiting www.sehealth.org/foundation.
Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. More than 350,000 people will suffer from sudden cardiac arrest this year alone.
"Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States and more people need access to AEDs in case something goes wrong," Development Officer Whitney Quick said.
A "Coins for Cardiac" fundraising event for the devices will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on September 15 at the Coin-Op Cantina on North Main Street in Cape Girardeau.
Donations can be made on the website by clicking here.