Save your sweetheart: Learn CPR and first-aid skills

Home is where the heart is — and where 88 percent of all heart attacks occur. Are you prepared to save the life of your sweetheart if necessary?

“The American Heart Association (AHA) conducted research showing that only 8 percent of people who suffer a cardiac emergency outside of a hospital or clinical setting survive,” said Steven J. Raible, M.D., cardiologist with Norton Heart Specialists and board president of the Kentuckiana Metro chapter of the AHA. “Statistically speaking, if you are called on to provide CPR in an emergency situation, it will probably involve someone in your home, such as a spouse, child, parent or friend.”

CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, can be learned and administered by anyone. It doesn’t require a medical degree.

“AHA wants others to feel empowered to save someone’s life,” Dr. Raible said. “Teenagers, construction workers, lawyers, bankers and musicians alike can learn CPR and be ready when needed.”

By administering CPR immediately when someone’s heart stops beating, you can double or even triple the chance of survival. With that in mind, there are various options and resources available for learning CPR.

AHA now offers Hands-Only CPR training. The online tutorial instructs participants that if they see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, to call 911 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the classic disco song “Stayin’Alive.” This song has the right beat for Hands-Only CPR.

“By providing Hands-Only CPR until medical professionals arrive on scene and can take over, you are doubling that person’s chance of survival,” Dr. Raible said.

Many parents, grandparents and extended family members are taking advantage of infant CPR and first-aid training as well. Norton Healthcare offers a class for new parents that teaches infant-only rescue breathing, CPR and choking rescue procedures.

“Everyone wants to be prepared for the arrival of a new baby,” said Tricia Thibaudeau, a family and community educator with Norton Women’s Care. “Part of being prepared also means knowing what to do in an emergency situation should the baby become choked or stop breathing.”

So whether you are with your spouse of 20 years, your best friend since the third grade or your 2-year-old grandson, you should know how and when to administer CPR. By learning how, you will be ready to save your sweetheart at a moment’s notice.

Norton Healthcare offers non-certification CPR courses (for adults and infants). Visit our calendar for a complete list of classes.


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