Welcome to the first post in Revive’s blog series! My name is Sameer Jafri and I’m the Co-Founder & President/COO of Revive Solutions, Inc and the Co-Founder & President of Saving Hearts Foundation. For the last four years, I’ve been involved in Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) prevention efforts, with the goal of working to significantly reduce the number of preventable deaths caused by SCA.
Before going any further, I think it’s important to start by providing some context on SCA since it will be the primary topic of this blog series, and more importantly because it is an issue that is often misunderstood.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a big problem, but what is it?
Often confused with a heart attack, which is caused by a blockage in a blood vessel that leads to an interruption in the flow of blood (think an issue with the hearts “plumbing” system), SCA is caused by an abnormality in the heart’s electrical system and leads to sudden death. Picture this: a perfectly healthy looking person, running around on a basketball court, or walking between classes at school one minute, and then the next minute they have collapsed without warning and are unconscious. That’s SCA… and that’s what led to the tragic deaths of professional basketball player Zeke Upshaw, Max Druhl, and hundreds of thousands of people across the U.S.
A few impactful statistics regarding SCA are that:
- SCA leads to over 350,000 out-of-hospital deaths per year in the U.S.
- SCA is the leading cause of death for people over the age of 40, and it is the leading cause of death for student athletes (over 7,000 in 2018).
- The survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest has remained stagnant at ~10% for years.
While there is no “cure” for SCA, the only treatment that exists is Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (“CPR”) in conjunction with a defibrillation shock delivered to a patient by an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Every minute that a patient in SCA does not receive defibrillation decreases their survival chances by 7-10%. However, the current average EMS response time in the U.S. is 8-12 minutes, making immediate access to an AED and use of the device by a bystander critical for a patient’s survival.
So people must be aware of SCA, right? Not really…
Over the years, I have engaged in thousands of conversations about SCA with people from communities all across the country, and unfortunately, despite these alarming statistics, the reaction I’ve become accustomed to receiving is one of pure shock and disbelief.
“I had no idea this was such a big issue… how have I never heard of this problem before? Why isn’t more being done about it?
This type of response, although very common, still really gets to me years later. Not because the actual questions bother me, but more so because I don’t have great answers. I really don’t blame the average person for being uninformed… I, alongside my team members at Revive Solutions’ and Saving Hearts Foundation, were in the same boat at one point. But now that I am deeply involved in SCA awareness and prevention efforts, two things have become clear to me:
- Despite the profound impact that SCA has on society, it is still a global public health issue that remains extremely under-appreciated and misunderstood by the public at large.
- The status quo across all factors that could lead to improved survival rates from SCA such as – education/awareness, policy, and technological innovation – is simply not good enough.
Revive Solutions – Our promise to you
Throughout my time working on SCD prevention efforts, I have come to know far too many families that have lost a loved one to SCA, often times a preventable death if individuals and communities at large were better prepared to respond to these emergencies. So in 2017, I founded Revive Solutions, Inc – a healthcare technology company – with Rory Beyer and Moseley Andrews, and we have set out on a mission to significantly increase survival rates from SCA by bringing disruptive technology solutions to an innovation stagnant industry. We are now a growing team of innovators and creative thinkers that are quickly working to bring our first set of products to market – specifically a next-generation AED that has the potential to significantly increase the accessibility of these life saving devices, as well as novel software solutions aimed at transforming SCA response.
As a company, we understand that bringing innovation to the industry is only one piece of the puzzle to improve the status quo. An equally important factor is educating the public about SCA, and how they can also play a vital role in improving survival rates in each of their respective communities. That’s why we have started this blog series, to ensure that we are doing our part to inform and educate the public.
I invite you to follow this blog, where we promise to:
- Keep you updated on important news related to all things SCA.
- Discuss the problems and challenges that have prevented SCA survival rates from increasing.
- Provide you access to important insights/opinions from industry leaders in the SCD prevention movement.
- Keep you updated on the exciting progress that we are making at Revive to bring innovation to the industry!
But most importantly, I invite you to join us in our mission to bring one of the largest global public health issues into the limelight, so we can build a community devoted to SCA awareness and prevention, together.