October 18, 1985

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Heart attack is the number one cause of sudden death in the United States. More than a million and a half Americans will experience heart attacks this year, of which over a half million will be fatal. We are making progress: Mortality from heart attacks has declined significantly over the past decade. But since heart attacks remain by far the leading cause of death in America, much remains to be done.

Heart attacks sometimes cause the heart to stop pumping, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) then becomes a critical and potentially life-saving first-aid procedure. Trained individuals applying CPR can often preserve the life of a heart attack victim until proper medical care can be obtained. Tens of thousands of Americans who have had heart attacks are leading productive lives today only because someone trained in CPR quickly and effectively applied this life-saving technique.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation may also be life-saving first aid for other conditions that cause sudden cessation of the heartbeat or cut off the delivery of oxygen into the lungs. Medical authorities are in agreement that a person adequately trained in CPR can make all the difference between life and death in many emergencies. But they stress that CPR is effective only when employed by people who are properly trained.

Because of the effectiveness of CPR, the number of sudden deaths from heart attacks and other emergencies could be reduced still further if more Americans were trained in this procedure. Facilities for CPR training are widespread, and I am pleased to acknowledge the contribution by those who train others. I urge all qualified Americans to take advantage of this training and to become certified in the use of CPR. This could be a life-saving decision.

To reinforce this message and to increase awareness among all Americans that people trained in CPR can be an effective means of reducing mortality from heart attacks, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 175, has designated the week beginning October 20 through October 26, 1985, as ``National CPR Awareness Week'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of October 20 through October 26, 1985, as National CPR Awareness Week. I invite the Governors of the States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the officials of other areas subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and the American people to join with me in acknowledging the benefits of this valuable life-saving technique and to undergo training in its use.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:10 p.m., October 18, 1985]