Amid summer months come a season of gift giving with weddings, graduations, birthdays and holidays leading to the thoughts of what to give that special person. The American Heart Association is calling on the community to think about giving the gift of life, especially during CPR Week (June 1–7) and the remainder of the summer season.
“Gift giving can be a difficult task to many,” said Scott Mann MD, Medical Director of Emergency Services at Dupont Hospital, Medical Director at Three Rivers Ambulance Authority, and member of the American Heart Association’s Fort Wayne Board of Directors.
“Offering a CPR kit is not only a lifesaving gift for friends, families and neighbors, but a clever idea to the norm,” said Dr. Mann.
Sudden cardiac arrest can strike anyone, anywhere. And when it does, a victim’s survival depends on the people around them. Skilled emergency personnel treat about 300,000 victims of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest in the United States, but more than 92 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital die from it.
During CPR Week, the association will increase awareness about CPR and automated external defibrillators (AEDs) so more people will know the simple steps to save a life if someone suddenly collapses from cardiac arrest.
Anyone – teen or adult – can help the association reach its goal by:
• Choosing a CPR kit as a gift for showers and birthday celebrations.
• Taking a classroom-based course. To find a course, go to americanheart.org/cpr and click on the ECC Class Connector.
• Training on CPR Anytime, a self-directed, at-home CPR kit. Kits can be ordered at cpranytime.org
Once people have learned about CPR via traditional instructor-led training or a CPR Anytime kit, they can log their experience at CPRweek.org. People who play the educational game or watch the Hands-Only video on the CPR Week site will be automatically counted toward the goal. A real-time heat map will track the number of people who have taken action in communities nationwide.
Training more people to perform CPR – in its 50th year as a lifesaving measure -- increases survival by enabling more possible bystanders to handle an emergency. Less than one-third of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims receive CPR from a bystander. Without immediate CPR, the chance of surviving out-of-hospital cardiac arrest drops up to 10 percent for each minute that passes without defibrillation. This means that by the time EMS personnel arrive on the scene it could be too late.
“CPR and AED training are critical to saving lives,” Dr. Mann said. “CPR Week is one way we hope to increase awareness about cardiac arrest as a significant health problem and get teens and adults to take action so more lives can be saved.”
For more information about CPR Week, visit CPRweek.org.