You’re at a restaurant. Your dinner companion chokes and quickly falls to the floor unconscious. What should you do? With CPR certification, you’d know how to help save that life.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
As a fitness professional, I am required to get CPR re-certified every two years. Each time I take the class, I feel reassured that I will correctly assess the situation and act in time. We work with dummies, both adult and infant, so we get a real hands-on feel for just how much pressure is needed to get the heart pumping again. A lot more pressure that you might think! We also learn how to use an AED (automated external defibrillator), a portable machine that shocks the heart back to life.
An article I wrote for Baylor Innovations details why reacting quickly in time makes such a huge difference. Had a by-stander not helped this man, the story would have a taken a fatal turn.
“Time is everything,” says Robert Kowal, M. D., Ph.D., a cardiac electrophysiologist at the Baylor Jack and Jane Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital, “There is a direct relationship between time to defibrillation and survival.”
WHO YOU CAN SAVE
CPR prepares you to react in an emergency. It’s a skill easily learned and often free or at small fee through the American Heart Association.
- Four out of five cardiac arrests happen at home.
- Statistically speaking, if called on to administer CPR in an emergency, the life you save is likely to be someone at home: a child, a spouse, a parent or a friend.
- Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival, but only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims get CPR from a bystander.
- Sadly, less than eight percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive.
It only takes a few hours to the learn CPR skills. There are also more advanced courses where you can learn how to handle emergency first aid situations. These videos show you what it takes and direct you to CPR courses in your area.