Cathy Lawdanski can be found over at My Side of 50. She is a 50-something wife, mother and grandmother who is embracing new challenges and adventures that come from being on “this side” of 50.
This past spring I attended my local American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women luncheon. Some friends of mine were honored for their great work with the AHA at the event. During a friend’s speech, she recounted a time 20 years ago when her father went into cardiac arrest and then died in her arms at the hospital an hour later. She has learned a lot in her years working with AHA.
My friend often wonders, “If I knew then what I know now, would the outcome have been different?”
DID YOU KNOW?
Cardiac arrest is caused when the heart suddenly stops, usually due to an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat and disrupts blood flow through the body. Over 326,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually. Ninety percent of these victims DO NOT SURVIVE.
Effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after cardiac arrest, can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.
I took a CPR course many years ago, and “back in the day” we were trained to use a combination of breaths and chest compressions. The AHA has done extensive research and found that in adults, hands only CPR (chest compressions only), performed at the rate of 100 chest compressions per minute is just as effective. If you want to know how to measure 100 compressions per minute, just compress to the beat of the Bee Gee’s “Stayin’ Alive”.
One of the highlights of the luncheon for me was getting some hands on training from members of our local fire department. They had dummies on which to practice that showed how hard you actually need to press when doing chest compressions. They said if you break a rib during chest compressions, that is a good thing! That means you are pressing hard enough. Who knew?
SO WHY LEARN CPR? HERE ARE FOUR REASONS:
- 70% of out of hospital cardiac arrests occur in homes or residential settings.
- Chances are, if you are called on to perform CPR, you’ll be doing it on someone you love – a spouse, child, parent or friend.
- For every minute a person is “down” without getting CPR, their chances of survival DECREASE by 7-10%. That’s why it is important to know what to do and to do it quickly.
- CPR is not hard. I could do it now, based on a few minutes of training, but I want to do more. I am going to sign up for a CPR course.
If immediately starting CPR would increase a person’s chance of survival and it is something I can learn to do, why wouldn’t I do it?
So join me, will you?