WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Knowing CPR could be the difference between life and death. Now, there has been a big spike in interest in learning it after several celebrities suffered cardiac arrests recently.
Health experts say it can happen at any age and for a number of reasons.
“Even youth who are playing sports or, you know, just in the classroom. It’s just something that you really cannot predict,” DeEtta Lee, communications director with the American Heart Association.
A quick reaction can be the thing to save someone.
“Performing good quality CPR can potentially save a life and give us enough time for the ambulance to arrive. So the medical professionals can take care of the situation,” said Dr. Ignacio De Cicco, Cardiologist at Ascension Via Christi.
“That gives people a chance at continuing that blood flow. through their heart into their brain,” Lee said.
According to AHA, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests take place outside of a hospital in the US each year. Of those about 90% result in death.
Since Damar Hamlin’s incident, AHA has seen a spike in interest.
“Just days following that we saw a 200% increase in our CPR page,” Lee explained.
So if you see someone collapse, what do you do? First call 911, then check for a pulse.
“From there, press hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of ‘Stayin Alive’ or for our younger audiences ‘Baby Shark.’ Any song that is 100 beats per minute, and you’ll continue that until help arrives,” Lee explained.
While they can be sudden there are signs you can look out for.
“Shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, feeling palpitations, and those are the typical signs that there might be something cardiac going on or there might be a cardiac condition,” De Cicco said.
Dr. De Cicco says heart conditions can be hereditary. If anyone in your family has experienced a heart issue be sure to tell your doctor.