INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, May 30, 2014) – Most of us would give anything to save the life of a loved one. That’s why the American Heart Association is encouraging Hoosiers to take one minute during National CPR Awareness Week, June 1-7, and learn Hands-Only CPR by watching an instructional video at heart.org/handsonlycpr.
Of the more than 420,000 sudden cardiac arrests in the United States every year, approximately 80 percent of those occur in private or residential settings, meaning if you are called on to give CPR in an emergency it will most likely be to try to save the life of a loved one. Sadly only 41 percent of victims get the immediate help they need before emergency help arrives.
“It’s tragic that 90 percent of cardiac arrest victims don’t survive, especially when Hands-Only CPR is such an easily learned skill that can double or even triple the rate of survival,” said Jim England, chairman of the American Heart Association’s Indianapolis board of directors. “There are two easy steps that anyone can do to save a life. The first is to call 9-1-1. The second is to push hard and fast on the center of the chest until help arrives.”
Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be equally as effective as CPR with breaths, and people are more likely to feel comfortable performing it. A December 2012 study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation found that Hands-Only CPR performed by bystanders keeps more people alive with good brain function after experiencing a cardiac arrest. According to the American Heart Association, people feel more confident performing Hands-Only CPR and are more likely to remember the correct rhythm when trained to the beat of a familiar song.
The American Heart Association uses the Bee Gees’ disco classic Stayin’ Alive as an example because it features 100 beats per minute, an ideal rate to perform Hands-Only CPR.
England, who is also president of J.D. Byrider Advertising Group, survived a sudden cardiac arrest after attending a college football game in 2011 thanks to a bystander who performed CPR.
“There were absolutely no warning signs that my heart was going to stop beating. No time to get medical help before it happened,” England said. “I’m forever grateful that someone nearby had taken the time to learn CPR and was there that day to save my life. My wife and I are committed to helping as many people learn CPR as possible. It’s easy to learn and may just save the life of someone you love.”