We’ve talked over the years about the importance of knowing CPR, and we’ve shared stories on News4JAX regarding how CPR has saved people’s lives. With February being American Heart Month, it’s another opportunity for us to help spread the life-saving message.
According to the American Heart Association, immediate CPR can double or triple a person’s chances of survival after cardiac arrest. “Nine out of ten individuals who have cardiac arrest actually die and that’s because we can’t get to them fast enough to provide adequate CPR or defibrillator in a timely fashion,” said Cleveland Clinic Cardiologist Dr. Tamanna Singh.
Singh said for those unfamiliar, CPR is a very simple process:
- Make sure the scene is safe.
- Call 911 or send someone for help, if possible.
- Check the person’s vitals.
- If the person is unresponsive and not breathing, it’s time to perform CPR.
To perform CPR:
- The person should be lying flat on their back.
- Put one hand over the other on the middle of the person’s chest.
- Start doing compressions 100 to 120 times per minute.
- Be sure to push down two inches every time.
- Singh says there’s no need to worry about mouth-to-mouth breathing because research has shown it’s no longer necessary.
Besides CPR, it’s also important to know how to use an automated external defibrillator, or AED. The device can be found in many public places, like schools, stores and offices.
“You just turn it on, and the device actually tells you exactly what to do, which is basically placing pads onto the person’s chest,” explained Singh. “The device will identify whether the rhythm the patient has is one where an electrical shock is one that can actually revive them or make them responsive again. And if that’s really indeed the case, all you have to do is press a specific button on the device to do so.”
Singh said both adults and children should know how to do CPR. There are many classes available -- both in person and online.