Tonight I took a course in CPR and first aid. I have taken it several times before, because I need to be re-certified every two years for my summer job. I work at a summer camp for kids with special needs. I am sure over the summer my blog will touch upon this great camp that our town offers, but tonight’s blog is focused on the importance of becoming trained in CPR.
I have read that every year over 360,000 people experience a sudden cardiac arrest outside of the hospital. Of those 360,000 people, 90% die; however, if CPR is done it can double or even triple chances of survival. Although the course I took today, involved compression and breath CPR, The American Heart Association is starting to recommend hands-only CPR, which eliminates the need for mouth-to-mouth breathing. I know that seems to be one of the biggest concerns that I hear about giving life saving CPR. I admit that has definitely been one of my apprehensions!
When a person stops breathing, and/or their heart stops beating, he or she can survive for only 4 to 6 minutes before lack of oxygen results in brain damage or death. Sadly, I know this fact too well after my mom stopped breathing and had no oxygen to her brain for over 7 minutes. CPR offers extra time until professional help can arrive, by providing the person oxygen to the brain as you administer breaths and compressions. I was not with my mom when she stopped breathing, and by the way my dad explained it, I am not sure if this would have even been an option for my mom, but it has really “hit closer to home” now, hearing the statistics and seeing the condition that my mom was in when we finally got to see her at the hospital. As I heard the instructor, (a fire chief), talk about the many times he has administered it, to people of all ages, I saw and heard it all differently. Now that I have experienced the affects of it, (my mom was resuscitated at the hospital- but had been without oxygen for so long, the results were painful to watch), it makes me want to be even more proactive. I hope that if I am ever put in the situation where I need to make the decision of jumping in to help to save a life, that I have the confidence to do everything in my power to help that person and to take charge so that that person is hopefully given a second chance at life, and in return, I hope that others take the initiative to be trained in CPR, so that if I am in a life or death situation, there is someone willing to jump in and do the same for me.