Believe it or not, becoming a life-saver may be easier than you think. If you learn how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), you could prove to be the difference between life or death for a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) victim.
SCA occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating, which causes blood to stop flowing to the brain and other critical organs throughout the body. It can happen to anyone, at any time, regardless of an individual’s medical history. And if SCA is not treated within minutes, it may result in death.
To better understand why CPR is crucial to assist SCA victims, consider the following statistics from the American Heart Association (AHA):
You don’t need comprehensive training to learn CPR. In fact, two types of CPR are available that are simple to learn and empower individuals to provide life-saving support in emergencies: hands-only and mouth-to-mouth CPR.
The AHA recommends hands-only CPR for use on teens or adults whom you see suddenly collapse. If a teen or adult collapses, this person likely was breathing normally before the incident happened, and there may already be sufficient oxygen in the victim’s blood for the first few minutes after cardiac arrest. Thus, after a teen or adult suffers SCA, this person will be able to maintain enough oxygen to the vital organs as long as someone administers high-quality chest compressions with limited interruption to pump blood to the heart and brain.
Hands-only CPR is an easy-to-remember and effective option for people who have been trained in CPR before but may not remember the steps of conventional CPR, according to the AHA. In fact, a recent AHA study indicated Americans who had not been trained in CPR within the past five years said they would be more likely to perform hands-only CPR than conventional CPR on a teen or adult who collapses suddenly.
Perhaps most important, hands-only CPR involves two steps:
The use of chest compressions has been shown to aid SCA victims, and numerous individuals are embracing the opportunity to learn hands-only CPR.
Recently, the AHA has established hands-only CPR training kiosks in several airports around the country that allow individuals to learn life-saving skills while they wait for their flights to depart. The training kiosks feature a touch screen with a video tutorial that explains how to administer hands-only CPR, a brief practice session and a 30-second CPR test. Going forward, the kiosks could help many travelers learn how to perform hands-only CPR and lead to improved survival rates among SCA victims.
Mouth-to-mouth CPR uses the same compressions discussed above in hands-only CPR and adds in mouth-to-mouth breaths, and its steps include:
Mouth-to-mouth CPR requires additional effort in comparison to its hands-only counterpart. Barrier devices such as pocket masks or key chain masks can provide protection against bodily fluids that may be encountered while giving breaths.
The AHA recommends CPR with a combination of compressions and breaths for:
Furthermore, the AHA notes there are many medical emergencies that can cause a person to become unresponsive and stop breathing normally. In these situations, CPR that includes mouth-to-mouth breathing may prove to be more beneficial than hands-only CPR alone.
Of course, if you encounter an SCA victim, call 911 and begin performing CPR immediately. Once advanced medical services arrive, they will be able to take over the care of the SCA victim.
The AHA also points out any attempt to provide CPR to a person who suffers cardiac arrest is better than no attempt to provide help. If the person is not breathing, performing chest compressions to ensure the blood is flowing through the body is much more helpful than doing nothing.
Hands-only and mouth-to-mouth CPR are valuable, and the benefits of both types of CPR extend beyond SCA victims.
The AHA offers an informative, engaging video to explain how to perform hands-only CPR, and CPR training programs are available to teach individuals how to administer mouth-to-mouth CPR, hands-only CPR and other life-saving techniques.
CPR training courses include skills practice to teach individuals how to perform chest compressions. They are instructor-led and usually can be completed in only a few hours.
If an individual understands how to perform hands-only and/or mouth-to-mouth CPR, he or she may be able to encourage others to learn how to perform CPR. This may drive a revolution, one that leads many individuals to become CPR-certified so they can make a difference in their respective communities.
A CPR training program will explain the ins and outs of both types of CPR and ensure you’ll gain the skills and confidence needed to administer CPR in a critical situation.
There are many reasons to enroll in a CPR training program, including:
Learning hands-only and mouth-to-mouth CPR might appear tough at times, but a CPR training program will deliver the confidence, skills and know-how that you need to administer life-saving support.
Ultimately, hands-only and mouth-to-mouth CPR empower anyone to become a life-saver in a life-threatening situation and the provider can choose which one they feel the most comfortable with. Ultimately, any CPR is better than no CPR. The AHA points out CPR is a skill that can be improved with practice and recommends individuals take a CPR course to practice and learn CPR skills, including giving chest compressions and breaths. It also notes those who learn CPR are more confident about their skills than those who have not been trained. Plus, the AHA states a CPR training program that lasts even a few minutes provides skills training and practice that can help an individual prepare to perform chest compressions.
There are many opportunities to learn how to perform hands-only and mouth-to-mouth CPR. With hands-only and mouth-to-mouth CPR training, you may be able to help a family member, friend, colleague or neighbor survive an SCA emergency. You also can set the tone for your community, encouraging others to become CPR-certified to reduce the loss of life in SCA emergencies.
To learn more about how you can become CPR-certified in Southern California, please contact SureFire CPR at (888) 277-3143.