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Essay by: ISP104   

Despite advances made in the prevention of cardiac arrests, deaths resulting from cardiac arrest remain a significant public health problem. Emergency cardiac events often occur in the presence of non-healthcare professionals who may or may not know what to do. Because every minute counts when the brain is deprived of oxygen, there is the need for non-healthcare professionals to know CPR and other life saving skills. Currently, only healthcare professionals and lay rescuers such as lifeguards are required to receive training in CPR, but in order to save more lives, CPR training should be received by a wider group of individuals.

CPR training should be made a mandatory requirement in the workplace. This would provide a vital component in the wellbeing of each organization. Currently, it is essential for organizations to comply with occupational health as well as health and safety standards, which contribute to the wellbeing and quality of the employees’ life at work. Adding a new requirement, such as having at least one trained CPR rescuer present during each shift, would make a big difference for those having an emergency cardiac event. Providing CPR training for non-healthcare professionals would be beneficial, as the presence of a trained individual at the scene of a cardiac arrest will result in the application of appropriate resuscitation skills, and greatly increase the chances that a life is saved. Also, it will reduce errors associated with CPR attempts by non-trained bystanders, who may do things like compress the wrong area of the chest or not compress the chest as deeply as needed.

Proper CPR technique is essential to reducing morbidity and mortality due to cardiac arrest. Significant interruptions in chest compressions, for instance, significantly reduce the chances of survival for the victim, and increase the chances of neurological damage. CPR training would equip more individuals with the knowledge of exactly what to do and not do in accordance with existing guidelines, giving the victim the greatest chance of survival. Training also ensures that the rescuer can identify the signs and symptoms of cardiac arrest. For example, a trained rescuer would notice a person exhibiting agonal breathing and know to administer CPR, whereas a lay rescuer might think this type of breathing is not life threatening and hesitate to act. A trained rescuer will be able to know that CPR should begin with chest compressions rather than ventilations.

Training would also ensure that the rescuer is aware of the risks that the victim as well as the rescuer are susceptible to during the resuscitation attempt. For example, both individuals are at risk of contracting bacteria and viruses that can be transmitted orally, such as tuberculosis and severe acute respiratory distress syndrome. A trained rescuer will be able to proceed in the safest possible way for both the rescuer and the victim by taking precautions, such as the use of barrier devices when performing mouth to mouth.

It is clear that CPR training is an essential for non-healthcare professionals. It will result in saving more lives that could otherwise have been lost. CPR trained individuals in the workplace will keep coworkers more protected as well as improve the company’s culture by adding to the sense of community. Training will also result in fewer instances of permanent damage caused by unattended heart attacks, while also ensuring the safety of the rescuer. Providing CPR training to non-healthcare professionals will be beneficial not only to victims of cardiac arrests, but also to the victims of other medical emergencies such suffocating, choking, electrocution, drowning and drug overdose. The more people trained in CPR, the safer we will all be.

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