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“Saved for a Reason” – CBS Denver

DENVER (CBS4)– Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death, yet the state of Colorado doesn’t even recognize it as a disease, let alone collect data or spend money on research. That would change under a bill in the state capitol.

(credit: Lynn Blake)

It comes after a few hundred Colorado hospitals and ambulances participated in a voluntary data collection effort last year, reporting more than 3,300 cardiac arrests, 87% of which resulted in death.

Lynn Blake is one of those who defied the odds. She was 27 when she suffered a cardiac arrest.

“I had just gotten married…we had just returned from our honeymoon.”

It was Valentine’s Day 2007 and she was enjoying life when she almost died: “I was in the middle of a conversation with a colleague when my heart suddenly stopped.”

If a coworker hadn’t started CPR right away and the Vail Fire Department hadn’t been right across the street, Blake says, she wouldn’t be alive.

(credit: CBS)

“The paramedics actually brought the defibrillator, electrocuted me three times and restarted my heart.”

Blake says she didn’t know what cardiac arrest was until then. While the condition lumps them together with heart attacks, cardiac arrests are caused by an electrical malfunction, not a blockage of blood to the heart. Only about 10% of people survive cardiac arrest, many of whom suffer brain damage.

Blake’s brush with death changed her life, “I really felt obligated that my life was saved for a reason.”

She started teaching CPR, training people in the use of automated external defibrillators — or AEDs — and helping pass a bill through Rep. Dylan Roberts that increases access to defibrillators nationwide. State.

Now she and Roberts have teamed up on a new bill.

“We need to do more to make sure more AEDs are available, but also study this to make sure we have all the data possible so we can make more informed decisions,” Roberts says.

The bill creates an app with a statewide defibrillator registry and requires statewide cardiac arrest tracking.

(credit: CBS)

Blake says, “If there’s no data and knowledge about what’s going on, then how can we improve it?

After all, she says, most people won’t be lucky enough to have a fire station across the street in the event of a cardiac arrest. “A small change or action can save a life.”

The bill allocates $500,000 annually to the Office of Cardiac Arrest Management to collect data, maintain a registry of defibrillators, and provide education and training.

The bill gets its first hearing on March 22.