If more people knew CPR, thousands of lives could be saved each year
Did you know that sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of death in the U.S.? More than 350,000 people die each year from SCA, which is almost 960 individuals every single day. Another sobering statistic: The survival rate for people who suffer cardiac arrest outside of a hospital and are treated by Emergency Medical Services is only about 10 percent.
The good news? When CPR is performed immediately and an AED is available, the chances of survival can double or even triple. CPR and AED training is vital. This is especially good to remember now, as the first week of June is designated as CPR Awareness Week. Here’s a great example of what CPR can do:
Last August, Manhattan financial executive Jeffrey Feig was on vacation when he went into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing. Immediately, people took action. While one person called an ambulance, another started chest compressions. A third person began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and a fourth grabbed an AED and used it to get his heart back to a normal rhythm. Thanks to these trained individuals, Feig not only survived, but he didn’t suffer any lasting heart or brain damage.
While remarkable, this story isn’t entirely uncommon. Many lives have been saved due to quick thinking and CPR/AED training. So why don’t more people get trained or take action when someone needs help? There are many myths surrounding SCA, including:
- It’s better to wait for medical professionals to arrive
Every second is critical when some is in cardiac arrest. For each minute that someone doesn’t get CPR or defibrillation, their chances of survival go down by 7 to 10 percent.
- Elderly people are the only ones affected
The truth is that sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone and, in fact, over 7,000 instances every year affect youths under age 18. And remember Jeffrey Feig? He was only 50.
- Only people with a history of heart problems can suffer from SCA
In many cases, someone may not know they have a heart problem until they go into cardiac arrest.
- Untrained people can’t operate an AED
AEDs are now fairly easy to use, with clear directions that are simple to follow. Untrained users can and do save lives. That said, training should be encouraged to ensure their proper use.
- An AED will hurt someone by shocking them
If someone is in cardiac arrest, this means that they are clinically dead, so a shock won’t hurt them. AEDs are safe when used properly, and the shocks are designed to get the heart beating as it should.
More good news: Recognizing how important CPR is, many people are now deciding to take classes or refresher courses. In fact, just two weeks before Jeffrey Feig went into cardiac arrest, the place where he was staying had conducted a class so people could learn CPR.
Feel like it’s time you finally learned CPR, or simply want to brush up on your knowledge? You can schedule training with One Beat CPR right now. We offer an assortment of classes that cover all life-saving tactics, including CPR, AEDs, first aid, and advanced cardiac life support. Taught by paramedics, police officers, and firefighters, this training can take place in your home or business.
If you are ever in a situation where you would need to administer CPR to a friend, co-worker, or even a stranger, you will be glad you know what to do. And if you’re the one in distress, you’ll be grateful that someone nearby got the right training. For more information about One Beat CPR and what we can do for you, can send us a message through our online contact form.