Welcome to National CPR & AED Awareness Week! Take some time this week to learn a little more about CPR, AED, and how to use these live-saving tools. If CPR is not provided, a victim’s chance of survival falls 7 to 10 percent for every minute of delay.

CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is used to increase survival in those experiencing cardiac arrest – the abrupt loss of heart function. The majority of these situations occur outside of the hospital, either at home or at work. Signs of cardiac arrest include sudden loss of responsiveness (no response when tapping on the victim’s shoulder) and the absence of normal breathing (the victim does not take a normal breath when you tilt the head back and lift the chin up and check for at least five seconds).

Taking a CPR certification course may be required in your line of work. Training can increase your effectiveness and confidence to respond in an emergency. Even if you are not certified through a formal course, you can still help save a life. Hands-Only CPR is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), it is recommended for use by people who see an adult suddenly collapse in an “out-of-hospital” setting (such as at home, work, or public). The AHA still recommends CPR with compressions and breaths for infants and children and victims of drowning, drug overdose, or people who collapse due to breathing problems.

Did You Know?

  • Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.
  • Sudden cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack.
    Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR for cardiac arrest at home, at work or in public.
  • During CPR, you should push on the chest at a rate of at least 100 compressions per minute. The beat of “Stayin’ Alive” is a perfect match for this.

Tips for Hands-On CPR

  • If you witness an adult suddenly collapse, call 9-1-1 immediately. The operator may instruct you to begin CPR. Stay on the phone until the dispatcher tells you to hang up.
  • You should push hard and fast on the center of the victims’ chest. Try to press down at least two inches. Continue compressions until professional help arrives.
  • Take a minute to learn how to save a life. Watch the Hands-Only CPR instructional video and share it with the important people in your life.

Sources: American Heart Association, American Safety & Health Institute, LifeWork Strategies EAP, and Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For medical advice, consult your physician. Feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.