About Emergencies

Learn CPR for Family and Friends

About 360,000 Americans Each Year Experience Out-of-Hospital Sudden Cardiac Arrest

The nation’s emergency physicians are encouraging everyone to get Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training, saying this skill could be the greatest gift given to someone.

“When a person goes into cardiac arrest, the first few seconds and minutes are crucial to saving his or her life and to preventing irreversible damage,” said Dr. David Seaberg with the American College of Emergency Physicians. “If more people had CPR training, many more lives could be saved. It’s not difficult to learn, and it is well worth the small amount of time it takes to learn.”

Facts about Cardiac Arrest:

  • Effective CPR immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or even triple a victim’s chance of survival, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
  • Studies suggest bystander CPR can double, even triple chances of survival.
  • A victim’s best chance for survival is when there is revival in the first 4 minutes.
  • About 360,000 victims of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year in the United States (AHA). Less than 8 percent of those victims survive.
  • Sudden cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack, which occurs when there is a blocked coronary artery. Cardiac arrest occurs when there is a heart rhythm disturbance – causing the heart to suddenly stop beating.
  • Less than one-third of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR, (AHA).
  • Almost 6,000 children 18 years old and younger suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year.

For those put off by having to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, there is good news: compression-only CPR is considered as effective at maintaining blood flow. Compression-only CPR is the method where you would push hard and fast in the center of the victim’s chest. Proper training from experts would easily be able to show a person this lifesaving technique.

Some new CPR classes can take less than an hour Family and friends are often on the front line and can make a significant difference preserving the life of a loved one.

For information on taking a CPR class in your area, please visit the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org/takeaclass.


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