Sudden cardiac arrest was one of the leading causes of death in the United States last year.
A common misconception is that cardiac arrest is similar to a heart attack, but it’s not. A heart attack happens when blood is blocked from reaching parts of the heart, whereas cardiac arrest occurs when rapid pulses cause the heart to stop beating.
This key difference means that intervention can actually make a difference for someone experiencing cardiac arrest. In fact, if a bystander provides CPR immediately after cardiac arrest, they can double the victim’s chance of survival.
Still, bystanders intervene less than 30 percent of the time. Many bystanders don't intervene because they don’t know what to do or aren’t confident enough to do it. The good news is that CPR classes can help alleviate both of those concerns.
It’s not only important to learn CPR so you are prepared to help strangers — nearly 85 percent of cardiac arrests happen at home. So your training could save the life of a loved one.
Hands-only CPR is easy to learn. First check for breathing, if the person is not breathing tilt their head back, clear the airway, and then provide rescue breaths. Then interlace your fingers and use the palm of your hand to press down on the chest about two inches and release. You will want to repeat this about 100 times a minute, and you should not stop until emergency services arrive at the scene.
Once you receive the certification, it is valid for two years. Plus, modern technology like mannequins with lights that respond to the bystanders’ actions and a patient instructor can even make it fun to learn CPR!