Close your eyes and let your imagination take over for a moment. You’re on that vacation that your husband and you have always dreamed of. The day has been perfect. The weather is perfect. The meal is unbelievable and the restaurant is totally living up to its reputation. Life simply could not get any better. Suddenly, the man at the next table slumps over! He’s having a sudden heart attack and as luck would have it, no one in the restaurant knows cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
But wait, all is not lost. You just so happen to have an iPhone with you. On a whim, you downloaded the Pocket First Aid and CPR Guide app before leaving for vacation. The man is saved. You and your spouse are heroes and the meal is on the house. The day ends as perfectly as it began.
I know! I know! I’m being a bit dramatic today, but the statistics show 95 percent of all persons who suffer a sudden heart attack die before ever reaching the hospital. Those numbers are dramatic! Thankfully, performing CPR doubles a victim’s chance of survival.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), if nothing is done, if no CPR intervention is performed, then the survival rate of the victim drops as much as 7 – 10 percent for each MINUTE that passes. I’m not quite certain what the average response time is for emergency medical services but let’s pretend that it takes EMS 10 minutes from the time that the call is first placed until they actually arrive on the scene and begin CPR on the victim. Do the math. It’s easy to see why the death rate for sudden heart attack is so high. Brain death begins within 4 – 6 minutes after a sudden heart attack so unless CPR is performed immediately, the victim stands little chance of recovery.
The problem with CPR is that while most of us are familiar with the premise of CPR (i.e. chest compression and breathe, chest compressions and breathe), most of us are not trained. Or, you may be like me. You may have had training but it was so long ago that in a real emergency, I wouldn’t have a clue what to do anymore. Let’s see, is that 12 compressions for one breath? No? Wait, maybe it was 15 compressions and two breaths?