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  • CLINICAL OUTCOMES: If successful, The HeartRescue Project will demonstrate significantly improved out-of-hospital SCA survival rates within 5 years in the geographies it funds.

    Clinical Outcomes
  • SOCIETAL IMPACT: The program is strengthening systems of care and increasing community awareness about a major healthcare issue.

    Societal Impact

Improving Survival Rates from Sudden Cardiac Arrest

The HeartRescue Project

Each year, 400,000 Americans are struck by sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).1 When SCA occurs, the heart stops abruptly, failing to pump blood to vital organs. Only 8% survive nationally — and that statistic hasn't changed in 30 years.1 The Medtronic Foundation is leading an unprecedented collaborative effort to improve the odds for SCA victims.

The Reality Today

Ricky Rubio

Learn how NBA basketball star Ricky Rubio is joining the Medtronic Foundation in teaching bystander response to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), the leading cause of death in young athletes.

Learn more >

SCA kills six times more Americans each
year than breast cancer.1

chart of breast cancer vs. SCA

Today, only 2 of every 25 Americans who suffer from SCA survive.1

chart of 2 in 25 Americans

Depending on where you live in the country, your chances of surviving SCA can fluctuate by as much as 500%.2

Our Approach

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The HeartRescue Project Video >

The HeartRescue Project
Click above to learn more about The HeartRescue Project

The Medtronic Foundation is leading and funding The HeartRescue Project, which aligns leading organizations in resuscitation to improve SCA response systems by coordinating training and best practices among the three critical stages of response:

Bystander Response

  • Immediate recognition of SCA
  • Early 911 call
  • Early CPR with an emphasis on chest compressions
  • Increased and early public access to automated external defibrillators

Prehospital Response

  • Dispatch-assisted CPR
  • High-performance CPR
  • Defibrillation care
  • Early advanced care

Hospital Response

  • Patient triage to a Resuscitation Center of Excellence
  • In-hospital hypothermia
  • 24/7 access to catheterization laboratory
  • Post-survival treatments
  • Post-survival patient and family education and support

Our HeartRescue Partners

  • Arizona
  • Penn
  • Minnesota
  • Duke
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Washington
  • AMR Medicine

Within their geographies, HeartRescue partners will:

  • Implement a common, systematic method of measuring performance and outcomes of SCA.
  • Promote best-practice training, treatments, and technologies for first responders (police/fire), emergency medical services (EMS) and hospitals.
  • Coordinate public education and training efforts.
  • Promote survivor education and support programs.
  • Provide regular progress updates.


The HeartRescue goals are ambitious:

  • Improve out-of-hospital SCA survival rates significantly in 5 years in the geographies funded.
  • Improve and standardize SCA measurement.
  • Expand the program.

Benefit Summary

The Medtronic Foundation is leading a large-scale collaborative effort to increase sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survival rates in the United States.

  • CLINICAL OUTCOMES: If successful, The HeartRescue Project will demonstrate significantly improved out-of-hospital SCA survival rates within 5 years in the geographies it funds.
  • SOCIETAL IMPACT: The program is strengthening systems of care and increasing community awareness about a major healthcare issue.

1 Circulation, 2010; 121:e46 (survival rate based on all cases of EMS-treated out-of-hospital cardiac arrest).
  American Heart Association. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2012 Update.

2 JAMA, 2008;300:1423

The HeartRescue Project is a program of the Medtronic Foundation.