More than 300,000 Americans die from cardiac arrest each year. About 75 percent to 80 percent of all cardiac arrests outside a hospital happen at home, and effective CPR can double a victim's chance of survival. Roughly 9 out of 10 cardiac arrest victims die before they get to a hospital - partly because they do not get CPR.
1) get trained in CPR and use of an AED. Check through American Red Cross or American Heart Assoc for course - website or phone call. It is easy and you can save someone's life.
2) starting CPR promptly and initiating Automatic External Defibrillator as soon as possible to critical to survival.
3) recent changes in CPR: more emphasis on effective chest compressions, (don't stop) and less on artificial respirations
4) the risk of CPR to the rescuer or victim are very, very low
a. No one has ever gotten HIV or AIDs from CPR
b. Without CPR, someone whose heart has stopped will die.
Facts about CPR
-Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in adults. Most arrests occur in persons with underlying heart disease.
-CPR doubles a person's chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest.
-75% of all cardiac arrests happen in people's homes.
-The typical victim of cardiac arrest is a man in his early 60's and a woman in her late 60's.
-Cardiac arrest occurs twice as frequently in men compared to women.
-There has never been a case of HIV transmitted by mouth-to-mouth CPR.
-In sudden cardiac arrest the heart goes from a normal heartbeat to a quivering rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (VF). This happens in approximately 2/3rds of all cardiac arrests. VF is fatal unless an electric shock, called defibrillation, can be given. CPR does not stop VF but CPR extends the window of time in which defibrillation can be effective.
-CPR provides a trickle of oxygenated blood to the brain and heart and keeps these organs alive until defibrillation can shock the heart into a normal rhythm.
-If CPR is started within 4 minutes of collapse and defibrillation provided within 10 minutes a person has a 40% chance of survival.