CPR: The Helping Hands
Every year, more than 350,000 Americans go into cardiac arrest outside of a medical facility, with 70 percent of those being inside homes (their own or someone else’s). About 90 percent of those people will die before reaching the emergency room—and that’s despite the fact that effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can double or even triple the chance of survival. Why is that?
CPR saves lives, but only if people know how to do it.
Fewer than 20 percent of Americans have learned to perform CPR and maintained their ability to do so. In a public area, the chances might be pretty good that someone in the vicinity knows CPR, but what about in a home? What about in your home? We know that a victim’s chances of surviving cardiac arrest drop by 7 percent every minute that goes by without someone stepping up to perform CPR. Do the math, and it doesn’t take many minutes for those chances to drop to zero.
Could you save a life?
Absolutely. The research is crystal clear: When more people know how to do CPR correctly, more lives are saved. Visit BayCareEvents.org to find a CPR class near you. Our instructors are certified to teach lifesaving CPR and choking rescue methods on infants and children based on American Heart Association guidelines.
What if I’m not trained in CPR?
If you’re with an adult who goes into cardiac arrest, and there’s no one around who’s trained to perform CPR, you can still help. It takes only four to six minutes for brain death to occur, so doing nothing is not an option. First, call 911 yourself or instruct another bystander to do so. Then, prepare to start chest compressions (known as hands-only CPR).
- Move the victim onto his or her back on a firm surface (like the floor).
- Kneel beside the victim’s shoulders.
- Place the heel of your hand on the middle of the victim’s chest, between their nipples.
- Put your other hand on top of the first hand, keeping your elbows straight and your shoulders straight above your hands.
- Push hard, straight down, to compress the chest at least two inches, using the weight of your upper body, at a rate of two compressions per second.
- Keep going until the victim begins to stir, or until a professional arrives to take over. Remember, push hard and fast!