I've always been a bit skeptical of the CPR certification craze. I mean, how many times can you really use CPR in your lifetime? But it turns out that more and more people are learning the technique—and that's a good thing. In my latest article on Medium, I explore why CPR is such an important skill and how to become certified yourself.
A recent study found that CPR doesn't save lives nearly as often as people might think. The researchers looked at data from more than 18,000 cardiac arrests that occurred between 2005 and 2010 across six communities in Canada and found only one in 10 cardiac arrests happen while a bystander is nearby to begin CPR. Of those who started CPR on their own, only 24% got any kind of advanced training and just 9% had been trained in Hands-Only CPR--where you simply compress the chest until help arrives--which is known to be effective if done correctly by anyone who knows how to use it.
The study also showed that bystanders were less likely to intervene if someone was having an arrest outside or inside their home than when it happened at work or school. But even with all these statistics taken into account, anyone who's trained should feel free to step in regardless of the person's age, gender, or even size (unless they're taller than 6'4"!). Call 911 first then start compressions and continue until help arrives!
In fact, only one in 10 cardiac arrests happen while a bystander is nearby to begin CPR.
In fact, only one in 10 cardiac arrests happen while a bystander is nearby to begin CPR. That's why it's so important that we all learn this lifesaving skill.
CPR can save lives--but only if performed correctly! It's also important that you know that you won't be sued for performing CPR on someone who has not consented to your actions (as long as their condition isn't life-threatening). And if you do need to use your new skills? The best thing about learning CPR certification is knowing that it may come in handy someday soon--because there are no guarantees about when or where an emergency will strike next.
And when they are nearby? They can only do so much.
When it comes to CPR certification, there are a few things you should know. First of all, the quality of CPR can vary greatly depending on the person doing it. Second, the quality of CPR is dependent on the person's health and training level (or lack thereof). Thirdly, when someone needs to do CPR on another person who is in need of immediate medical attention and their lives depend on someone being able to perform effective chest compressions at 120 beats per minute until help arrives--you guessed it--it's usually because they don't know how!
You can learn basic first aid techniques from an instructor or book yourself into a course where an instructor will teach you everything he or she knows about saving lives with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compressions using an AED machine (Automated External Defibrillator).
Of those who started CPR on their own, only 24% got any kind of advanced training.
The most important thing to remember is that no matter what, knowing how to do the basics of CPR is essential. Even if you don't have access to advanced training, it's still important for you to know what steps are involved in performing CPR on someone who has stopped breathing or has no pulse.
They recommend that everyone learn how to perform adult CPR because it could save someone's life one day--and maybe even yours! You should also take a course if possible so you can learn more about other types of first aid and emergency situations as well. If there aren't any classes near where you live or work (or if they're too expensive), consider taking an online course instead; these tend to be less expensive but still, provide valuable information about how best to handle emergencies such as those involving traumatic injuries or sudden cardiac arrest events occurring nearby
Call 911 and start compressions before help arrives.
- Call 911 as soon as you can.
- Don't worry about the person's age, or if they have had a heart attack before.
- Don't give up! The more compressions you do, the better chance they have of survival.
- If someone else is available to help, ask them to call 911 while you perform compressions on the victim's chest. If no one else is around, don't be afraid to ask for assistance from passersby or other people in your building who might be willing and able to assist with this task (if there are any).
It's important not just because it could save lives--but also because doing so may prevent lawsuits later down the road when someone dies during CPR due to lack of time spent performing chest compressions.
So what does this all mean? It means that if you want to help someone in cardiac arrest, you need to know how to do it yourself. You can't rely on someone else to save their life. And even then, there's no guarantee that CPR will work--but there's no harm in trying!