Sunday, June 5, 2016

June 1-7 is National CPR-AED Awareness Week

Your quick actions could save a life. Mouth-to-Mouth is out. Hands-only is in! 

survival charts from EMS treated out of hospital cardiac arrestSudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., affecting about 1,000 people every day in the U.S. On average, only 10% of sudden cardiac arrest victims survive. However when victims are treated quickly with CPR and defibrillators, the chance of survival significantly improves. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue has responded to numerous incidents where by-stander CPR has saved lives and encourages all residents to learn this important, lifesaving skill.  

Why don’t more people know and use CPR? Seven common myths that may be barriers to bystander action.
  • Myth No. 1: SCA is rare. Fact: The number of people who die from SCA each day is equivalent to the number who would die if two jet planes crashed every single day killing nearly everyone on board.
  • Myth: No. 2: SCA is the same as a heart attack. Fact: When people have heart attacks, they are awake and their hearts are beating. When people have SCA, they are not awake and their hearts are not beating. Heart attack can lead to SCA, but there are also many other causes.
  • Myth No. 3: SCA only happens to the elderly. Fact: SCA happens to people of all ages, including more than 6,000 youth under the age of 18 each year.
  • Myth No. 4: SCA only happens to people with a history of heart problems. Fact: SCA is often the first indication of a heart problem.
  • Myth No. 5: Victims are better off waiting for professional help to arrive. Fact: Time is of the essence. Immediate bystander intervention can mean the difference between life and death.
  • Myth No. 6: Only trained personnel are allowed to use AEDs. Fact: AEDs can be used effectively by anyone who can follow visual and voice prompts.
  • Myth No. 7: AEDs can hurt people by shocking them inappropriately. Fact: People in cardiac arrest are clinically dead. Your actions can only help. AEDs are safe and effective and will not shock the heart unless shocks are needed to restore a healthy heartbeat.
  • (Source:  Mary Newman, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation)
Need a refresher? Here’s what to do if you witness a possible sudden cardiac arrest:
  • Recognize that the person is in trouble and decide to make a difference. Remember, the victim’s heart has stopped beating and without treatment, he or she will die within minutes. Your actions can only help.
  • Call 911 and ask someone to bring the nearest AED to the victim’s side if one is available.
  • Press hard and fast on the center of the chest at a rate of 100-120 times a minute. What? How do I do that? Imagine compressing to the tune of “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees. That’s it! Mouth-to- mouth is no longer required.

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