Saving Lives Through Education: CPR
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), each year over 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States. Statistics prove that if more people knew cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), more lives could be saved. It is likely that most people who arrest outside of the hospital die because they do not receive immediate and effective CPR from someone on the scene. Providing CPR immediately can double or even triple a person’s chances of survival (AHA 2017).
Conventional CPR includes high quality compressions, breathing, and the use of an automatic external defibrillator (AED). AED’s are devices that eliminate abnormal heart rhythms with the use of electricity. AED’s are often found in public places such as stores, churches, industries and recreational facilities. Chatham Hospital has staff certified in Basic Cardiac Life Support, as well as Advanced Life Support for adults and pediatrics.
Hands-Only CPR is providing CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. It is recommended when you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse in an out-of-hospital setting (such as home, work, or in a park). It consists of two easy steps: 1) Call 9-1-1 (or send someone to do that) 2) Push hard and fast in the center of the chest. According to the AHA, hands-only CPR performed by a bystander has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR with mouth-to-mouth breaths in the first few minutes of an out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest (AHA 2017). For more information and educational videos on hands-only CPR can be found at www.heart.org/handsonlycpr.
Each year June 1-7 is designated as National CPR and AED Awareness Week. This week spotlights how lives can be saved if more Americans know CPR and how to use an AED. Did you know Chatham Hospital offers AHA Basic and Advanced Life support classes? These classes are open to community members. If you are interested in registering for one of our classes, contact Megan Moore at 919.799.4000.
Submitted by Megan Moore, BSN, RN, Clinical Education