Medtronic Foundation Launches Online Save-a-Life Simulation

(3BL Media) Minneapolis, MN – April 13, 2012 – The Medtronic Foundation’s HeartRescue Project has produced an interactive, online experience, the “Save-a-Life Simulator,” to promote proper and timely bystander response to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

First person point-of-view videos put the viewer in the shoes of an everyday mall-goer who witnesses a person experiencing SCA. The “choose-your-own-adventure” style of the interactive experience, allows you to decide the fate of the victim by making critical choices, starting with an initial decision to help the victim or ignore the situation. A corresponding television public service announcement (PSA), titled “All Alone,” has been distributed nationwide, driving viewers to to access the online learning tool.

Through the PSA and online experience, the HeartRescue Project is trying to instill a basic response mindset: call 911, start chest compressions immediately and use an AED if available.

SCA is a leading cause of death in America, which according to the American Heart Association strikes nearly 400,000 Americans each year. Research shows that communities with higher bystander CPR participation have higher SCA survival rates. Unfortunately, overall U.S. rates of SCA survival have not improved in more than 30 years, hovering around eight percent.

This new HeartRescue Project tool marks the first ever online experience that strings together many of the possible real-world reactions to witnessing SCA in real time, in hopes that it will encourage people to take action.

“When it comes to responding to SCA, the worst thing you can do is nothing,” says Dr. Michael Sayre, an associate professor and emergency physician with The Ohio State University and medical director of the HeartRescue Project. “This experience was designed to provide a new way of engaging people, encouraging them to learn about SCA and how to respond by immersing them in a virtual, yet life-like experience.”

SCA is a sudden, abrupt loss of heart function primarily caused by rapid and/or chaotic electrical activity. It occurs without warning and renders a person clinically dead within minutes unless treated with CPR and defibrillation. If a victim’s heart is not beating, any help they receive is beneficial.

In 2011, the Partners in the HeartRescue Project made a commitment to think differently about how to reduce sudden cardiac arrest deaths in the United States. The project assembles some of the country’s leading emergency and resuscitation experts to expand successful city and county SCA response programs to statewide levels. The goal is to improve out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rates by at least 50 percent over five years in the geographies funded by the program.

Test your response skills through the online tool, and learn about what you can do to save a life at Find the HeartRescue Project on Twitter and YouTube. Learn more about the HeartRescue Project at

About The Medtronic Foundation

The Medtronic Foundation ( is committed to improving the lives of people around the world living with chronic disease. Its grant making is focused in three areas: health, education and community.

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