CPR training

Does cardiopulmonary resuscitation make a difference?

Does cardiopulmonary resuscitation make a difference? A study by the University of Cincinnati found that those trained in CPR are no better at performing the procedure than those who have had no training. This was a small study with only 50 people, but it shows the importance of learning the potentially lifesaving skill and getting retrained periodically.

The American Heart Association (AHA) says nearly 95 percent of people who experience a major heart attack will not make it to the hospital alive. Their chances improve, however, if someone performs CPR properly. The lead author of the study, Jennifer Sayegh, said, “Without getting better training out there, people will continue to die needlessly from cardiac arrest.”

The six steps of CPR are:

1. Check for responsiveness.
2. Call for help.
3. Begin chest compressions immediately.
4. Use correct hand placement.
5. Use correct compression depth.
6. Use correct compression rate.

The American Heart Association says CPR can save lives. Survival rates improve when CPR is used along with a defibrillator, a device used to shock the heart back to a normal rhythm. Some communities have public-access defibrillators available.

According to the AHA, “Survival is directly linked to the amount of time between the onset of sudden cardiac arrest and defibrillation. If no bystander CPR is provided, a victim’s chances of survival are reduced by 7 to 10 percent with every minute of delay until defibrillation.”

But when bystanders provide immediate CPR and have access to a defibrillator, there’s more hope for survival. “When the first shock is delivered within three to five minutes after CPR begins, the reported survival rates from … cardiac arrest are as high as 48 to 74 percent.”

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