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“Patients, families, caregivers, health care providers, prehospital providers and lay rescuers might struggle with symptoms of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress after performing, watching or being resuscitated,” said statement author Kelly N. Sawyer, M.D., M.S., American Heart Association volunteer and assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pittsburgh, Penn.  With this in mind, a new recovery link has been added to the Chain of Survival, which emphasizes physical, social, and emotional needs of patients and their caregivers after survivors leave the hospital, according to the 2020 American Heart Association Guidelines for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care.  “Survivorship is a journey that starts with the sudden cardiac arrest and includes at least the first 12 months thereafter,” Sawyer said. “Post cardiac arrest care is multi-disciplinary and requires coordination so that it does not end when patients are discharged from the hospital.”

Tips for recovery for cardiac arrest patients include:

  • Structured assessment for anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress, and fatigue for survivors and their caregivers.

  • Rehabilitation assessment and treatment for physical, neurologic, cardiopulmonary, and cognitive impairments before discharge from the hospital.

  • Comprehensive, multidisciplinary discharge planning for cardiac arrest survivors and their caregivers, including medical and rehabilitative treatment recommendations and return to activity/work expectations.

Reference: Recovery is an important link 6/15/21

Kansas City area resources 

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There are 2 chapters in Johnson County, KS that serve the greater KC area.  Both of these support groups meet on different days via Zoom during this pandemic. Below are their email addresses for additional information.

Overland Park chapter: WH-OverlandPark@womenheart.org 

Olathe chapter: WH-Olathe@womenheart.org 

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Turning Point in cooperation with KU Health systems offers many different types of services ranging from disease specific support, mental health support, and meditation. "Turning Point is a center to meet, listen, share, learn and encourage. Our research-based programs foster practical skills that increase resilience, the ability to bend without breaking." Click on their logo for additional information. 

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Advent Health of Shawnee Mission offers various support care for patient's with heart disease that include support groups.  Click on their logo for additional information. 

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The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation is a national community benefit 501(c)(3) organization based in Pittsburgh, PA. Our vision is to eliminate preventable death and disability from sudden cardiac arrest and support people affected by SCA. Our mission is to raise public awareness of sudden cardiac arrest and promote initiatives that help save lives through education, research, and community. Click on their logo for additional information about how to get involved in research in cardiac arrest.