Each year, nearly 300,000 Americans have sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and early defibrillation with an automated external defibrillator (AED) more than double a victim’s chance of survival.
The American Heart Association has designated June 1-7 CPR and AED Awareness Week, the perfect time to review life-saving techniques. Those techniques will be covered in a free seminar at Western Baptist Hospital on June 6.
The AHA now recommends two simple steps to save a life: Phone 911 and perform chest compression.
Studies of real emergencies occurring in homes, at work or in public locations show these two steps can be as effective as conventional CPR, which adds mouth-to-mouth breathing to basic chest compression. Providing “hands-only” CPR can more than double a heart attack victim’s chance of survival. Here’s what you should do:
* Phone 911
* Using the heel of both hands, start pressing hard and fast in the center of the chest, with minimal interruptions.
* Continue until trained medical help arrives.
If you know it, do it
If you were trained in conventional CPR (30 compressions to two breaths) and are confident in your abilities to administer it, provide it until medical help arrives and takes over the victim’s care.
If you are not confident in your ability to provide conventional CPR, provide “hands-only” CPR until EMS providers arrive.
AEDs: Easy, effective
Increasingly found in public places, including schools and workplaces, an automated external defibrillator (AED) is a computerized medical device that checks a person’s heart rhythm and recognizes when a shock is required to “re-start” a person’s heart. It uses voice prompts, lights and text messages to tell the rescuer the proper steps to take.
AEDs are very accurate and easy to use. With a few hours of training, anyone can learn to safely operate an AED. There are many different brands, but the same basic steps apply to all.
Free June 6 training
Western Baptist invites families to learn proper CPR and AED techniques at a free training workshop Saturday, June 6, in the Baptist Heart Center Auditorium. Two sessions will be offered:
* 9 to 10:30 a.m.
* 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Western Baptist Hospital’s Auxiliary has purchased 45 CPR kits for participating families. Certified CPR instructors at Western Baptist will train families and provide take-home kits, including instructional DVDs and a practice mannequin. They also will review use of AEDs.
Space is limited, so reservations are required. To reserve your family’s space, phone Baptist Health Line at (270) 575-2918.
Chest Pain and Stroke Hotline
For help identifying signs and symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, phone our award-winning Chest Pain and Stroke Hotline at 1-800-575-1911 to speak with a registered nurse at Western Baptist.