Eureka! They Found CPR!
A man in Eureka, Oregon is alive today because two bystanders gave him CPR after he suffered a heart attack. It was shortly after eight in the morning, when a 911 dispatcher got the call: a man had collapsed in a shopping mall. A Fire Department Emergency Response team raced to the scene, and found the two bystanders taking turns administering chest compressions. Smart! The number of compressions per minute that result in the best survival rates is probably more than a single person handle, although any effort is better than none.
When the paramedics arrived, they took over CPR and also used a portable defibrillator to restore cardiac rhythm. The man developed a pulse and, in the ambulance, began breathing on his own. But it was the prompt action of two strangers that gave him the chance to live, according to the responders.
The story underscores the importance of knowing current CPR methods, of course, but also shows the importance of asking for help from others with similar training if you find yourself in the position of saving a life. The number of chest compressions recommended for effective CPR, meaning to keep blood flowing to the organs, especially the brain, is 100 per minute! Keeping that up for any length of time takes a lot of stamina. And obviously, knowing where to place your hands on the victim’s torso and how much force to apply is critical. Learning those things is simple. The American Heart association partners with local organizations to offer public and private CPR classes in your area.
The AHA reports survival rates triple when heart attack victims receive bystander CPR quickly. In a sad symmetry, however, that happens only a third of the time. Since research finds that strangers are quite willing to help, even more so than family-members, probably due to fear of harming a loved one, it’s apparent many more people need to learn CPR, and knowledge of the best method has evolved, so re-training is important, too.
Around 500 thousand Americans will die from hearts attacks this year, if the statistical average holds true. The data on effective CPR make it clear that many of those deaths are preventable.