INDIANAPOLIS—Every year, roughly 350,000 Americans die from cardiac arrest. It’s also one of the biggest killers globally, claiming more lives than car accidents, guns, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, HIV and the flu combined.
But health professionals want you to know that CPR could help save many of those lives. According to the American Heart Association, CPR can double or triple the chance of survival from an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. But according to the 2017 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, less than half (45.7%) of people who experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital get immediate help from a bystander.
Among those working to help bring those numbers up is Jason Wells with Hancock Health. Wells has been teaching CPR for 25 years and says he’s seen and heard countless stories where CPR was needed, but not used. He wants people to know it doesn’t have to be that way.
“Just put hands on somebody’s chest, push hard, push fast,” Wells said.
This time of year, Wells says knowing CPR is especially important. Pointing to annual increases of potentially deadly events.
“It’s summertime, it’s hot outside, we’re all going to be at the pool. There’s an increased risk for drowning. But there’s also an increased risk for being at grandma’s house and heaven forbid something happens there, community somewhere, big box stores, walking down the street, anywhere.”
While a crucial skill, CPR doesn’t take long to learn. In fact, Wells says just 90 minutes can get someone their basic certification. Though Hancock Health offers several versions of advanced certifications.
“Every single one of them, starts with the basics of compressing a heart. A heart is a juice box, you just have to be able to get it to squeeze, open up and fill back up with blood, and squeeze again. It’s just that simple,” Wells said.
While it doesn’t take a relatively long amount of time to learn CPR, the timelines of being able to apply CPR are extremely crucial. It’s said for every minute a heart goes without compressions you lose a 10% chance of recovery. According to ProCPR the breakdown of complications that can arise without CPR is as follows:
0-4 minutes: Brain damage is not likely; chances of survival and health high
4-6 minutes: Brain damage could occur; reaching the beginning of brain death
6-10 minutes: Brain damage is likely; the person may suffer ongoing issues after being resuscitated
10+ minutes: Brain death is likely to occur; very slim chance of a person regaining consciousness or surviving at all
Hancock Health offers CPR certification classes. If you’d like to get 50% off the registration fee, use the code CPR50. This code is good through July 31 for CPR certification class registrations for July and August.