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February is American Heart Month: Time to ‘Wear Red,’ focus on cardiac heath, learn ‘hands-only’ CPR

Gov. Andy Beshear signed a proclamation last week in honor of “Wear Red Day” and the American Heart Association of Kentucky’s efforts to educate the state on the importance of cardiac health and CPR training, Anna Latek reported for the State Journal in Frankfort.

The governor spoke in a crowded Capitol Rotunda joined by American Heart Association staff, medical personnel, and several people who have had their lives saved through emergency cardiac intervention. Eastern Kentucky University football coach Walt Wells advocated the use of an AED (automated external defibrillator) and lauded quick intervention by emergency personnel who saved his life after a “widowmaker” heart attack he suffered on campus in August.

The Governor’s Mansion illuminated in red (Photo by Anna Latek/State Journal)

“We are here today to celebrate American Heart Month, National ‘Wear Red’ Day, and the great work that the American Heart Association is doing across the Commonwealth of Kentucky and beyond,” said Clint Kaho, President of Baptist Health, LaGrange and Board President of the American Heart Association of Kentucky.
The Governor’s Mansion will be illuminated in red all month in honor of American Heart Month. 

American Heart Month was first named in February in 1964 by proclamation of then-President Lyndon B. Johnson. In the following decades it has been a central focus of highlighting cardiovascular and cardiac disease in the US, steps to fight the illnesses, as well as concentrating on instruction in life-saving measures like CPR. Heart disease remains the number one cause of death in Kentucky, as well as the United States as a whole.

This year, the American Heart Association is launching their “Be The Beat” campaign, with a goal of getting one person in each household to learn how to administer CPR. Representatives from the association demonstrated a “hands only” technique on a CPR training doll, and presented a CPR practice kit to First Lady Britainy Beshear for the Governor’s Mansion.

Instructional videos for this “hands only”  technique can be found at https://cpr.heart.org/en/cpr-courses-and-kits/hands-only-cpr, and training is available through The Red Cross at www.redcross.org.

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