Even one basic CPR class can mean the difference between life and death
In a life-threatening emergency, seconds matter. When it’s a loved one or friend who’s unresponsive, it can be all too easy to freeze in shock and fear. However, with simple CPR training, you can save a life.
Daniel Daire, nurse practitioner at Baton Rouge General Medical Center, said the best way to learn CPR is to take a course. The good news is even one class (yes, just a single class on a single day) can give you the knowledge and confidence necessary to save lives.
If you’ve never taken a CPR class, there are still some basics to think about should you find yourself amidst a life-threatening emergency. Daire said the first thing to do is to call 911 or have someone else call 911. Even if your CPR is successful in distributing blood to the person’s vital organs, they will still need professional medical attention to survive.
Once you’ve called 911, make sure your surroundings are safe. For example, if it’s outdoors, a person who suddenly collapsed may have stepped on a downed power line. You can’t help anyone if you end up dead or seriously injured yourself.
The Red Cross’ instructions for CPR are as follows: place your hands one on top of the other in the middle of the person’s chest. Use your body weight to help give compressions at least two inches deep at a rate of at least 100 compressions per minute. A University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria study found that thinking of the Bee Gees’ hit “Stayin’ Alive” helped people find the right speed for compressions (do it for every “ah” in the “ah ah ah ah” in “Stayin’ Alive”).
Daire said if CPR is administered within one to two minutes of the initial incident, the survival rate improves. He said the more people who have CPR training, the more lives will be saved. Some day, one of those lives might be one of your friends or family.
The Red Cross and other organizations provide CPR instruction across the country. But even if you don’t get around to taking that class, it’s always better to try CPR in an emergency.
“Any kind of intervention is better than nothing,” Daire said.
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