November 5, 2013
As part of its continued mission to spread the word about the importance of compression-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) through community engagement, the Regional Approach to Cardiovascular Emergencies Cardiac Arrest Resuscitation System (RACE CARS) program launched a large-scale educational effort at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh. More than 100 volunteer instructors representing the DCRI, Duke Heart Center and 26 other organizations from across the state staffed the RACE CARS exhibit booth in the Educational Building for the entire 11-day run of the fair. A total of 2,738 fairgoers were trained.
In addition to the success these training efforts have had on-site at the fairgrounds; RACE CARS was able to garner some increased media attention through several feature stories broadcast by local television news stations. In an interview with WCTV, Christopher Granger, MD, director of Duke’s Cardiac Care Unit and RACE CARS principal investigator, pointed out that more than 8,000 people a year suffer from cardiac arrest in North Carolina and CPR is a vital tool that can be used by anyone to save the lives of these people.
In another featured story, WRAL interviewed James Jollis, MD, FACC, a cardiologist for Rex and UNC Healthcare, and a co-principal investigator for the RACE CARS program, and Gene Oakley, who was able to use CPR to save her husband Ken Oakley when he experienced cardiac arrest just one week previous to the fair. Jollis pointed out that the Oakley’s case might be called a “miracle story,” but that this “miracle” can happen any time a bystander or family member can recognize what to do, call 911, and start compressions.