9 Out of 10 Victims of Cardiac Arrest May Not Survive, but CPR Can Help

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Dr. Alok Gupta, MD

By Dr. Alok K. Gupta, MD

INDIA New England Health Columnist

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation commonly known as CPR, has been around in some form for over 100 years. According to the American Heart Association, 9 out of 10 victims of cardiac arrest will not survive, however immediate CPR by a bystander can double or triple a victim’s chances of survival. Unfortunately only 32 percent of those experiencing cardiac arrest get immediate CPR.

Dr. Alok Gupta, MD
Dr. Alok Gupta, MD

Why do so few victims receive CPR? Many reasons. CPR can appear to be a very complex skill that only few can perform. Some people may be afraid to try if they have not been formally trained. Others are afraid that they will hurt the patient by breaking ribs. Then there is the “ick factor” of giving mouth to mouth to people you may not know, or may have heard that victims may vomit.

Over the years there have been many changes in how the general public performs CPR. CPR in the general community looks nothing like the CPR you may have seen in on ER or Grey’s Anatomy. There are many ways to learn CPR; from weekend long person classes where participants can practice on manikins, try out face masks and even lean to use defibrillators, to online at your own pace courses, to very basic “hands only” CPR which can be learned by watching a video and does not require mouth-to-mouth resuscitation .

There has been a big push to train more people in the community in how to provide CPR. Many states have started requiring CPR training for all graduating high school students. In VA training this will start with the 2016-17 school year. Many community hospitals also offer CPR training for a fee. Other approaches to getting CPR to victims quicker include the use of phone Apps. CPR trained individuals register with the app and the volunteer is located within a certain distance of a reported cardiac arrest (by using GPS coordinates) they receive an alert with the location of the arrest and the location of the closest AED (Automated External Defibrillator).

There are many opportunities to be trained with limited skill and time involved. With 88% of cardiac arrests happening at home, the person you save may be someone you know or love. Why not learn a little more today?

Find the course that is right for you at:

http://cpr.heart.org/AHAECC/CPRAndECC/FindACourse/UCM_473162_Find-A-Course.jsp

 

Learn more about the Hands Only program here:

http://cpr.heart.org/AHAECC/CPRAndECC/Programs/HandsOnlyCPR/UCM_473196_Hands-Only-CPR.jsp

 

(Dr. Alok K. Gupta is an Internist, a doctor for adults. He is a Board Certified in Internal Medicine. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Salem Hospital in Salem, Massachusetts. Part of the training was also at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Gupta has been practicing Internal Medicine since 1998. He was in upstate New York for six years. Recently, he had been practicing in Manassas, and now is in practice in Gainesville. Visit him on the web at www.alokguptamd.com )

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