Heart Safety

Hundreds of thousands of Americans experience sudden cardiac arrest each year. The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation states that nine out of 10 people who experience sudden cardiac arrest won't live. Immediate treatment with an automated external defibrillator or hands-only CPR is crucial for survival.

The University of Kansas Health System has installed more than 100 automatic external defibrillators throughout our hospital in Kansas City. We have also placed AEDs at our Westwood campus, KU MedWest location and Outpatient Dialysis Center and Energy Center. As part of our partnership, we have also provided AEDs and training at Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City.

Our heart program has been nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report each year since 2007 as being among the nation's top 50 hospitals for cardiovascular care. Request your appointment online or call us at 913-588-1227, or toll free at 844-323-1227.

Automated External Defibrillators

For someone experiencing a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest, the use of an automatic external defibrillator, along with CPR, can be a lifesaver. An AED is a computerized medical device that:

  • Checks a person's heart rhythm
  • Can recognize a rhythm that requires a shock
  • Advises when a shock is needed
  • Prompts the rescuer to take the proper steps

One to three minutes of CPR before a shock is given may improve the heart's response to the shock. Studies show that when defibrillation and CPR are performed within the first few minutes of sudden cardiac arrest, the chance of survival increases to 75 percent or more.

Improved safety

Many health system staff members have been trained and certified to use an AED, as well as trained to provide CPR. Our goal is to have someone trained in every area of the hospital and our other locations.

All AEDs, including battery life and expiration dates, are regularly monitored to make sure they work when needed.

A HEARTSafe Community

The University of Kansas Health System and the Kansas City Kansas Fire Department have helped make Wyandotte County a "HEARTSafe Community." Over the past year, health system staff and the fire department have trained more than 3,000 people in Wyandotte County about what to do when they see someone experiencing cardiac arrest.

The HEARTSafe method:

  • Check for responsiveness
  • Call 911
  • Perform hands-only CPR (no mouth-to-mouth). Compress the middle of the chest hard and fast, pressing the chest down about two inches 100 times a minute (to the rhythm of the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive")
  • Use an automatic external defibrillator (AED) if available

HEARTSafe Communities is a program designed to promote survival from sudden, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Wyandotte County is the first in the Kansas City area and second in Kansas to be recognized as a HEARTSafe Community.