Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving procedure used on a person who has gone into cardiac arrest, meaning the heart has stopped beating unexpectedly. Effective CPR buys cardiac arrest victims extra time before emergency medical care can be administered. CPR works by keeping the blow flow active and pumping blood into the brain through chest compressions, albeit only partially. Research shows how immediate CPR after a cardiac arrest can double or even triple someone’s chance of survival after cardiac arrest.
Dial 9-1-1 immediately if you witness someone having a cardiac arrest. CPR can effectively help aid the victim until paramedics arrive on the scene.
Why Everyone Should Learn CPR
The good news is that anyone can learn CPR, and everyone should, regardless of whether or not they are required to learn it for their job. Sadly, less than 8% of these people survive a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting. This creates a huge opportunity to bring that number down to zero by following the American Heart Association’s “Chain of Survival,” which provides 5 links for out-of-hospital care for adults.
The Chain of Survival links include:
- Recognition: This very first step is critical to ensure the victim survives. Bystanders should immediately dial 9-1-1 for paramedics to transport the individual to the emergency room for treatment.
- CPR: Bystanders can perform CPR by pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest. They should provide the compressions at an adequate rate and depth, and avoid leaning on the victim as they perform compressions.
- Defibrillation: An automated external defibrillator can increase the victim’s chances of surviving a cardiac arrest.
- Emergency medical services rendered: Once first responders arrive on the scene, they can quickly assess the situation en route to the emergency room.
- Post-cardiac arrest care: The medical treatment team will work to identify the cause of the cardiac arrest and work to mitigate injury to multiple organ systems.
Statistics About CPR Show Why it’s Critical to Learn
The American Heart Association reports the following statistics:
- CPR saves lives: Cardiac arrests are very common, and 88% of them occur at home. Statistically speaking, the life you save by administering CPR is likely to be someone you know and love.
- Not enough people know how to perform CPR: Unfortunately, the American Heart Association reports that 70% of American adults do not CPR or how to act in the event of a cardiac arrest.
- Cardiac arrest is common: Nearly 383,000 people experience sudden cardiac arrests outside of a hospital every year.
Should I Give CPR to Someone Having a Heart Attack?
No. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, cardiac arrests are different from heart attacks, and CPR will not be effective in helping someone who has sustained a heart attack. Circulation problems are what cause heart attacks, as the blood flow is blocked to the heart. By contrast, a cardiac arrest occurs when the heart malfunctions – it is an electrical problem.
If You Witness Someone Suffer a Cardiac Arrest, Call 9-1-1
Advance ER strongly advises adults to learn CPR. The life you might end up saving could be a loved one’s. The American Red Cross lets you search online for hands-only CPR classes near you by zip code (no mouth-to-mouth resuscitation involved).
Our medical team and onsite specialists provide round-the-clock care for health emergencies. Whether you or someone you know is experiencing a medical emergency or you need other medical attention, Advance ER can help. For further information, contact us at our Park Cities or Galleria locations.
Park Cities, TX: 214-494-8222
Galleria, TX: 214-225-7233