Most cardiac arrests happen at home, according to the American Heart Association (AHA), leaving immediate, emergency care in the hands of loved ones. In fact, the AHA says almost 80 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in private residences.
Would you know what to do if an adult suddenly collapsed, whether at home or in a public setting? Being trained in how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can mean the difference between life and death, effectively doubling a victim’s chance for survival.
When sudden cardiac arrest occurs, the victim collapses, becomes unresponsive to gentle shaking, stops breathing normally and, after two rescue breaths, still isn’t breathing normally, coughing or moving. If bystander CPR is not provided, a victim’s chance of survival falls between 7 percent to 10 percent for every minute of delay until defibrillation occurs.
CPR helps maintain vital blood flow to the heart and brain and increases the amount of time that an electric shock from a defibrillator can be effective.
If you have had training in CPR, you will know how to provide life-saving support until emergency personnel can take over.
CPR training also includes knowing how to use an automatic electronic defibrillator (AED), but bystanders can use AEDs without specific training. These portable devices—with their distinctive red and white logos— are designed to be simple to use, even for the untrained. They are required by law to be in public places, such as health clubs and shopping malls, but many communities also keep them near the entrances to community centers, theaters, swimming pools, and in workplaces and government offices. AEDs are portable enough to be used in the home and are especially beneficial for families with known existing heart conditions.
Want to learn CPR?
There are a number of places that teach the class.
City of Vacaville regularly holds CPR classes at McBride Senior Center. The next classes are Feb. 9 and 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. The class fee is $49. Call (707) 469-6660 for details.
Medical Training Services provides CPR classes for individuals or businesses. Call (707) 446-6220.