Tuesday, June 6, 2017

CPR training: Cardiac-arrest survival depends on it

The American Red Cross Ohio Buckeye Region offers CPR
classes both in person and online. (CLS Research Office/Flickr)
By Mary Kuhlman

Every year more than 350,000 Americans suffer cardiac arrest in a location other than a hospital, and for every one of them, survival depends on someone immediately stepping up to administer CPR.

According to the American Heart Association, almost 90 percent of people whose heart suddenly stops die because they don't get CPR.

Dan Grejczyk and his family operate a business called Pulse Check Plus that teaches CPR.

"CPR itself is not about reviving anyone," he says. "It's about keeping their brain and body oxygenated so advanced medical can deal with it down the road.

"So what you're doing is buying them time. It makes such a difference in recovery for everyone involved, just to do something."

The vast majority of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen at home, so if you are called on to perform CPR you will most likely be helping to save the life of someone you love.

It's estimated that about 1-in-3 victims of cardiac arrest receives CPR from bystanders. For every minute that passes without it, the chances of survival drop more than 7 percent.

Jordan Tetting is the communications director of the American Red Cross Ohio Buckeye Region, among the organizations offering CPR classes both in person and online. She says people should not be apprehensive about mastering the concept or putting it to use.

"I've had to perform CPR only once in my lifetime, but I can tell you that having that training and going through that, my mind and my body just kicked into action and relied on those classes that I'd taken and the training just took over for me," she relates.

Grejcyzk says some people worry they might push too hard on someone's chest and break ribs. He has a condition that requires a medication that has a nasty side effect: sudden cardiac arrest. It happened to him, and he lived to tell about it only because a stranger gave him CPR.

"I myself am a CPR survivor," he tells. "Nine years ago on the 8th of May, so just past my nine-year anniversary, I had CPR done on me and it saved my life, and when I woke up I assure you I did not go to the guy and say, 'Did you have to push that hard?'"

The American Heart Association, which introduced hands-only CPR in 2008, says there really are only two steps you need to follow: call 911 or have someone else do that, and press hard and fast on the center of the chest.

No comments:

Post a Comment