Up until recently, I have never put much thought into learning how to perform CPR. It is one of those things that you just don’t think about until something happens.
It sort of reminds me of liability insurance (as opposed to full coverage) or renters insurance… you just don’t really think you will need it. That is, of course… until you do!
And, by then… it’s likely too late!
So, why mention this now?
Well, over the last year or so, two of my uncles have suffered from cardiac arrest. One was playing softball and suddenly collapsed during the game, while the other was camping with family and friends and was effected right at the end of the trip as we were packing to go home.
Fortunately, in both cases, there were people nearby who knew how to perform CPR and I am thrilled to report that CPR saved both of their lives. 🙂
Literally, CPR saved their lives… INCREDIBLE!
I bring this up because cardiac arrest can occur anywhere, and at any time. It is sudden, unexpected, and extremely frightening. If you don’t know how to respond or what to do, the victims chances of survival go down dramatically.
Needless to say, one of my goals this year was to learn how to perform CPR. I honestly hope I never have to use it, but knowing what to do in an extreme situation is critical.
My wife and I decided to sign up for a 2hr class at our local gym (which was super convenient BTW). We literally saw signs posted on the walls with details about the course… seemed like it was meant to be.
The class cost $50 per person and taught us how to perform CPR on an adult or infant. It was fast paced, hands-on, that covered the basics (nothing too scientific). If you’re interested in the course details, you can check it out HERE.
Listed below are some of the interesting facts and stats we learned:
What is CPR?
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (AKA CPR) is an emergency lifesaving procedure performed when the heart stops beating. When performed, it can double or even triple the chance of survival after cardiac arrest.
Double or triple? … WOW, that’s substantial.
Why is CPR effective?
CPR is effective, because it BUYS TIME.
Contrary to popular belief, CPR does not resuscitate the victim immediately. In fact, all those crazy movie scenes and TV acts that show a person coming back to life after a few chest compression’s is not realistic.
In fact, when a person is performing CPR and doing chest compression’s, they are MANUALLY beating the heart for the person suffering from cardiac arrest. This pumps blood from the heart to the brain, and it increases the likelihood that the victim’s brain tissue will stay alive until help arrives.
Incredible if you ask me.
In order to jump start the heart, you need electricity. This is where an AED comes in handy… these are the “paddles” (or sticky pads) that send electricity into the body. Any basic course will teach you how to use them (they are automated and instructions are very straightforward).
Anyway, if you have an AED available in a nearby CPR kit, great! If not, continue CPR to buy time until help arrives.
Why do we need to buy time?
Buying time is super critical for many reasons
The main reason is that once someone falls victim to cardiac arrest (meaning their heart stops beating), the brain tissue can only survive for about 6 minutes.
Only 6 minutes… not much time!
Here’s the even scarier news…
The average time it takes for an ambulance to arrive is around 8 minutes. This obviously varies depending on your location, but 8 minutes is more than someone may have in this situation.
In the U.S., there are approx. 350,000 cases of cardiac arrest that occur outside of a hospital setting. The survival rate outside of the hospital is less than 12% because many of these cases go untreated with CPR. Yet, as mentioned early, CPR can double or triple the chances of survival.
That’s a high enough percentage for me to take notice. Point being, the information taught in a basic CPR course is invaluable and can save lives. If you haven’t already taken a course, I would highly recommend it.
For more information about CPR from the American Heart Association, check out their site HERE
All the best!
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