February 1-6, 2016: Sudden Cardiac Death of the Young Awareness Week

WHEREAS, sudden cardiac death claims the lives of more than 300 children and young adults in Michigan each year, particularly black males, and is a leading cause of premature death for males and females of all races; and,

WHEREAS, evaluating a young person's medical history, personal heart history and family heart history currently are the best tools used to identify those at risk of sudden cardiac death. However, in many cases, a sudden cardiac event is the first apparent symptom in a young person; and,

WHEREAS, early recognition and immediate intervention of cardiac arrest utilizing the American Heart Association’s ‘Chain of Survival’ that includes calling 9-1-1, rapid bystander response with hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), use of an automated external defibrillator (AED), advanced life support and post-cardiac arrest care, is critical to increase the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest and saving a life; and,

WHEREAS, Michiganders will be better equipped to respond to a cardiac emergency if they understand how critical their intervention may be to the survival of a young adult or child, and have adequate training and practice to provide such intervention; and,

WHEREAS, written cardiac emergency response plans are now required by Michigan schools to protect their students, staff and visitors in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan schools can receive an honorary designation as a MI HEART Safe School for meeting specific criteria including performance of at least one cardiac emergency response drill per year with 162 Michigan schools awarded to date; and,

WHEREAS, during this week, we join with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan Alliance for Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Arrest of the Young to raise awareness of sudden cardiac death of the young in Michigan and to encourage Michigan schools to consider becoming a MI HEART Safe School. We also encourage all citizens to learn about their family's heart history as well as promote and receive training in the appropriate interventions in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim February 1-6, 2016 as Sudden Cardiac Death of the Young Awareness Week in Michigan.