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Essay by: ISP092   

What do you do when you see someone collapse, unresponsive and not breathing? This may be an easy answer for a healthcare professional trained with Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). But someone who doesn’t know how to perform CPR may panic and feel incapable to help. The American Heart Association (AHA) found that 70% of Americans may feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they don’t know how to perform CPR. In 2008, the AHA announced bystanders who witnessed the sudden collapse of an adult should provide Hand-Only CPR. The AHA indicated Hand-Only CPR is equally effective as Conventional CPR in most cases. I believe it is important and beneficial for non-healthcare professionals to know CPR.

According to the AHA, CPR can more than double a person’s chances of survival. The brain requires oxygen to function. An unconscious person who is not breathing, will be not be able to supply oxygen to the brain and body tissues. Every second a victim is unconscious and not breathing may cause damage to the brain and organs. CPR is a procedure performed in attempt to preserve intact brain function and organ function until other measures can be taken to restore blood circulation and breathing. Chest compressions help the heart pump blood through the body allowing the brain and organs to receive oxygen.

Anyone may collapse due to cardiac arrest at any moment and at any place. According to the AHA, 88% of cardiac arrests occur at home. There may not be a healthcare professional nearby to provide CPR to resuscitate the victim. Only 8% of victims who experience cardiac arrest outside a hospital survives and only 32% of victims receive CPR from a bystander. If all non-healthcare professionals know CPR, it increases the chances that someone nearby the victim may be able to save them. It is important and beneficial for non-healthcare professionals to learn at least Hand-Only CPR. Learning Hand-Only CPR is as simple as watching a one minute video from the AHA on chest compressions. CPR is a life-saving skill that everyone must acquire.

American Heart Association, (2014, May 8). CPR Statistics. Retrieved August 28, 2014, from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/CPRAndECC/WhatisCPR/CPRFactsandStats/CPR-Statistics_UCM_307542_Article.jsp
American Heart Association. Hands-Only CPR. Retrieved August 28, 2014, from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/CPRAndECC/HandsOnlyCPR/Hands-Only-CPR_UCM_440559_SubHomePage.jsp

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