The Case for Keeping up with CPR Training
When it comes to CPR training, nobody does it better than the American Heart Association (AHA). CPR has been around since at least 1740. Currently, the AHA has an estimated 350,000 trained instructors. Over the years, techniques for preforming CPR have changed greatly, as have the technological devices we use to assist in our CPR. Through all the organizational, and technological changes, one thing has remained the same however, and that is the success of comprehensive, human-to-human training, provided in a supportive setting- with information and resources all geared towards increasing confidence in providers.
The most common reason people need CPR is Cardiac Arrest. The US sees more than 400,000 deaths per year, due to Cardiovascular Arrest, a fast-acting and often times fatal medical emergency in which the hearth’s internal rhythm falls out of sync, resulting in a halt of all blood-pumping functions of the heart, causing the victim to lose consciousness and expire- unless CPR can be performed on them within a critical, short amount of time- ideally just 10 minutes. CPR administration includes compressions- which are steady, forceful pumps to the chest- and breaths, which help to oxygenate the blood being pumped via compressions. Providers should note that the administration of breaths to a victim is optional, and without a barrier device for protecting oneself- it is generally not advised. Providers may give “Hands-only CPR.”
Shockingly, and perhaps tragically, only about 32% of people who experience Cardiac Arrest receive CPR from a bystander. A small percentage of the population know how to do CPR, as many have not taken classes yet, or have not renewed and stayed up-to-date on CPR guidelines, which themselves update every 5 years. CPR re-certification is typically required or advised every 2 years. CPR must be practiced and revisited periodically so that rescuers may learn new methodology, practice old methodology that still applies, and in general update their understanding of the process and the various steps involved. Comprehensive training can be accomplished in just 1-2 hours, online or in-person.
The need for new providers to become certified today- and for past providers to get re-certified today- couldn’t be any greater. Over 88% of all Cardiac Arrests that occur in the US are OUT-OF-HOSPITAL events, meaning that statistically, the highest likelihood of encountering this ourselves will be whilst we are with friends or family members. The first step to empowering yourself, and gaining the ability to intervene and save a close one, is to take an AHA-approved CPR course.
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