You Can Make A Difference: A True Life or Death Matter

This past Saturday, my wife Penny and I took a course in CPR (CardioPulmonary Resuscitation) and AED (Automated External Defibrillation). Penny is a teacher and needed the re-certification.  She signed me up to go with her – a very good idea, she said.  Actually, she insisted.

Many big companies provide this training for their employees.  In fact, they even have designated staff trained and procedures for such emergencies.

Typically, small businesses don’t.  So – it is really important for those of us who work in or serve small businesses to have training in CRP and AED.

Here are the stats:

About 80 percent of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in private residential settings, so being trained to perform (CPR) can mean the difference between life and death for a loved one.

Effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after cardiac arrest, can double a victim’s chance of survival. Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can happen at any time without warning.  That being said, it is becoming increasingly popular for companies to register their employees for CPR classes or CPR training in an effort to both educate them about how to administer CPR as well as train them for possible emergency situations.

CPR helps maintain vital blood flow to the heart and brain and increases the amount of time that an electric shock from a defibrillator can be effective.

Approximately 95 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital.

Death from sudden cardiac arrest is not inevitable. If more people knew CPR, more lives could be saved.

Brain death starts to occur four to six minutes after someone experiences cardiac arrest if no CPR and defibrillation occurs during that time.

If bystander CPR is not provided, a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s chances of survival fall 7 percent to 10 percent for every minute of delay until defibrillation. Few attempts at resuscitation are successful if CPR and defibrillation are not provided within minutes of collapse.

Coronary heart disease accounts for about 446,000 of the over 864,000 adults who die each year as a result of cardiovascular disease.

There are 294,851 emergency medical services-treated out-of-hospital cardiac arrests annually in the United States.

There are about 138,000 coronary heart disease deaths within one hour of symptom onset each year in the United States.

Sudden cardiac arrest is most often caused by an abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (VF). Cardiac arrest can also occur after the onset of a heart attack or as a result of electrocution or near-drowning.

When sudden cardiac arrest occurs, the victim collapses, becomes unresponsive to gentle shaking, stops normal breathing and after two rescue breaths, still isn’t breathing normally, coughing or moving.

Knowing how to perform CPR may mean the difference between life or death for a family member, co-worker, or someone in line at the bank (or anywhere else).  Additionally, being trained on how to perform CPR can help you to stay calm, make wiser decisions during an emergency situation, and give you the confidence to help someone.  It is fairly easy to find a CPR class.  A good place to start is with your local EMT or Fire Department.  Many local community colleges offer CPR courses periodically.  You can find them – just do it!

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