Anyone can learn CPR – and everyone should! Sadly, 70 percent of Americans may feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they either do not know how to administer CPR or their training has significantly lapsed. This alarming statistic could hit close to home, because home is exactly where 80 percent of cardiac arrests occur. Put very simply: The life you save with CPR is mostly likely to be someone you love.
This June, in honor of National CPR Week, the American Heart Association is calling on all Americans to learn how to give Hands-Only CPR by watching a simple one-minute video at heart.org/cpr. Once you have learned CPR, give 5 people you care about the power to save lives by equipping them to act quickly in a crisis.
Don’t be afraid; your actions can only help. If you see an unresponsive adult who is not breathing or not breathing normally, call 911 and push hard and fast on the center of the chest.
WHY LEARN CPR? Cardiac arrests are more common than you think, and they can happen to anyone at any time.
• Nearly 300,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests occur annually, and 80 percent of cardiac arrests occur at home.
• Many victims appear healthy with no known heart disease or other risk factors.
• Sudden cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack.
o Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic, which causes the heart to suddenly stop beating.
o A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is blocked. A heart attack may cause cardiac arrest.
WHO CAN YOU SAVE WITH CPR? The life you save with CPR is mostly likely to be a loved one.
• Four out of five cardiac arrests happen at home.
• Statistically speaking, if called on to administer CPR in an emergency, the life you save is likely to be someone at home: a child, a spouse, a parent or a friend.
• African-Americans are almost twice as likely to experience cardiac arrest at home, work or in another public location than Caucasians, and their survival rates are twice as poor as for Caucasians.
WHY TAKE ACTION? Failure to act in a cardiac emergency can lead to unnecessary deaths.
• Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival, but only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims get CPR from a bystander.
• Sadly, less than eight percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive.
• The American Heart Association trains more than 12 million people in CPR annually, to equip Americans with the skills they need to perform bystander CPR.
SEE A VIDEO, SAVE A LIFE You can prepare yourself to act in an emergency by simply viewing this short video
• A study published in the March 8 issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes showed that people who view a CPR instructional video are significantly more likely to attempt life-saving resuscitation.
• Hands-Only CPR (CPR with just chest compressions) has been proven to be as effective as CPR with breaths in treating adult cardiac arrest victims.
• The American Heart Association has recommended Hands-Only CPR for adults since 2008.