June 1-7 is CPR/AED Awareness Week. So what, exactly, does this mean? What are we asking people to be aware of? What are we hoping people will do? What are we hoping YOU will do? It’s quite simple actually:
Have you taken a CPR certification class? Yes? YES! Way to go! No? Consider taking one. Have you been to a hands-only CPR demonstration? Yes? Great! No? See if they are offering one in your area – it doesn’t take long to learn and many times you can get a little practice in at a health fair or some other health-related community event. Can’t make it to a class or a demonstration? That’s okay! Search YouTube for videos that teach you how to do hands-only CPR. Seriously, if you can watch a video and learn how to build a birdhouse, you can watch a video and learn how to give hands-only CPR. Of course, practice with an instructor is best and we always encourage certification classes, but at least you will be more prepared than most if you take a few minutes to watch a video.
Why is CPR important?
It’s true CPR alone cannot revive someone who is truly in sudden cardiac arrest, but what it does do is keep oxygenated blood flowing to the brain and vital organs until an AED can be attached and a shock administered. Without CPR to keep that blood moving, a person’s chances for a full neurological recovery diminish.
Did you know 70% of sudden cardiac arrest incidents occur in the home? This means if you ever are called upon to perform CPR, it will most likely be on someone you love. When bystanders start CPR immediately, the patient’s chances for survival increase 45%!
An AED is a simple device anyone can use to analyze the heart rhythm of someone in sudden cardiac arrest and deliver a shock if one is needed. When used in conjunction with CPR, a patient has a 34% increase in their chance of survival. Have questions about these amazing machines? They are probably answered here. The most important fact you should know is you cannot harm someone with an AED. It is virtually impossible to use it incorrectly.
Why is an AED important?
An AED is the only treatment for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Since SCA occurs when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions, the electrical shock from an AED allows the heart to resume its natural electrical pulses so the heart can beat normally again. If one is not available while you are rescuing someone with CPR, odds are the EMS team will attach one when they arrive.
Where can you find an AED?
Many AEDs can be found in schools, malls, gyms & fitness centers, airports, hotels, and places where large numbers of people typically gather. We challenge you to notice AED signs and look for AEDs whenever you are out and about. Do you know where the closest AED is to you while you are reading this blog post?
Have you ever had to use an AED? We love when our readers share their experiences – comment below and tell us all about it!