More Information About CPR

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What is CPR?
CPR, or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, is a potentially lifesaving skill that is performed on people in cardiac arrest or sometimes respiratory arrest. Given the correct training, a bystander can help maintain proper blood and oxygen flow in the victim until trained professionals arrive. Whether leading a group into remote places or just sitting in class, the ability to perform CPR can mean the difference between life and death for anyone around you.

 

What is an AED?
An AED, or Automatic External Defibrillator, is a device used to "jump start" someone's heart. A person in cardiac arrest may have a very erratic heart rhythm called Ventricular Fibrillation, or "V-Fib". The AED is designed to analyze a victim's heart rhythm and determine if it can be treated with a shock. The shock is designed to first stop the victim's erratic heart rhythm, then restart the heart with a normal rhythm. Using an AED combined with CPR, a trained bystander can help correct the victim's heart rhythm and provide necessary blood and oxygen flow until trained professionals arrive. An AED alone, along with someone who is trained to use it, can save someone's life.

 

Here are some facts from the American Heart Association (heart.org) about CPR and AED use:

  • EMS treats nearly 300,000 victims of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year in the U.S.
  • Less than eight percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive.
  • Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time. Many victims appear healthy with no known heart disease or other risk factors.
  • Sudden cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic, which causes the heart to suddenly stop beating. A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is blocked. A heart attack may cause cardiac arrest.
  • Less than one-third of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR.
  • Effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest, can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.
  • Unless CPR and defibrillation are provided with
    in minutes of collapse, few attempts at resuscitation are successful.
  • Even if CPR is performed, defibrillation with an AED is required to stop the abnormal rhythm and restore a normal heart rhythm.
  • AEDs are now widely available in public places such as schools, airports and workplaces.