By Trudy Keyes
Have you ever passed up the chance to learn CPR because you were afraid you might do more harm than good if thrown into an emergency situation? You’re not alone. About 70 percent of Americans feel helpless to act when they see a person in medical distress and many of them fear that they could unintentionally injure the person in distress.
“Hands-only” cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a safe, immediate, potentially life-saving intervention, says the American Heart Association (AHA)– and all you need “is two hands.”
Doing nothing causes far more harm than doing something before it’s too late. CPR can double or triple a person’s chance for survival if performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest.
Every year, more than 250,000 Americans experience heart attacks caused by blockage of blood flow to the heart, a health crisis that requires immediate treatment. Restoring blood flow as quickly as possible is critical to saving lives and CPR offers the most immediate, hands-on solution for the best outcomes possible. Most likely, the life you will be saving by administering CPR will be that of someone you love—a child, a spouse, a parent or a friend. Nearly 90 percent of cardiac arrests happen at home.
CPR, currently being considered as mandatory training for high school students, has been formally endorsed by the AHA for the past 55 years. In recent years, automated external defibrillators (AEDs), small, easy-to- use, portable packs, have been showing up in many public places, including offices, schools, shopping malls, grocery stores, airports and some homes. Hands-on experience can take the fear out of acting quickly in an emergency situation.
As a result of this need for more public education, St. Joseph Medical Center will be hosting two free CPR/AED training classes on March 20 and 21, 2018. Certified Basic Life Support instructors will go over the signs and symptoms of cardiac arrest, teach hands-only CPR training, and show how to appropriately use an AED.
Open to the public, one training session will be held on Tuesday, March 20, and the same class on Wednesday, March 21. Both classes will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the St. Joseph Community Center, 1000 Carondelet Dr., Kansas City, MO 64114. To register for either class, contact Ericka at Ericka.Beeler@primehealthcare.com. (Registration is limited and no certification is given.) If you have any questions, contact Ericka Beeler: (816) 943-2687.