WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — CPR and AED Awareness Week is the first week of June.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, is an emergency lifesaving procedure performed when the heart stops beating (cardiac arrest), according to the American Heart Association.
The AHA says there are two easy steps for conducting hands-only CPR:
- Call 9-1-1 (or send someone to do that)
- Push hard and fast in the center of the chest
The AHA has created a video on how to conduct hands-only CPR:
American Heart Association (AHA) Senior Director Heather Smart says time is an important factor when it comes to CPR.
“So with CPR, when someone does not get CPR performed within two minutes, brain damage starts happening. It takes the body 10 minutes to have irreversible brain damage, and so it is crucial that people start performing CPR instantly,” Smart said.
Smart says when performing hands-on CPR, there are tons of songs that are 100 to 120 beats per minute to conduct chest compressions to.
The AHA has shared other facts about cardiac arrest and CPR:
- Each year, 350,000 Americans die from cardiac arrest
- Globally, cardiac arrest claims more lives than colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, influenza, pneumonia, auto accidents, HIV, firearms, and house fires combined
- Each year, more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States
- About 90% of people who experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital will die
- About 70%, or nearly three out of four, cardiac arrests that happen outside a hospital happen at home
- If you are called on to give CPR in an emergency, you will most likely be trying to save the life of someone you know or love
- Only about 40% of people who suffer from cardiac arrest receive CPR from a bystander
- CPR, especially if performed immediately, could double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival
- Women are less likely to receive CPR partly because people fear accusations of inappropriate touching, sexual assault, or injuring the person
- Black and Hispanic people are less likely to receive bystander CPR
If you are interested in taking a class to learn CPR, visit the AHA’s website.
The AHA says an automated external defibrillator, or AED, is a lightweight, portable device that delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart when it detects an abnormal rhythm and changes the rhythm back to normal.
Smart says AEDs are great tools.
“The AED will walk the person through how to do it, where to place the patches, but continue doing chest compressions in between the AED being shocked. That’s what’s going to help the body,” Smart said.
Performing CPR and using an AED can be an intimidating thing to do.
Smart says because of the Good Samaritan Law if you have good intentions and are trying to save someone’s life, you are legally covered.
“So if someone goes down in cardiac arrest and you start performing CPR, again, you think women there’s that fear of anatomy and inappropriate touching or just if something happens, say the person dies, and I was the one doing hands-only CPR, civilians are protected by the Good Samaritan Law,” she said.