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Are you CPR trained?

January 4, 2017

Fewer than one in five American adults has current training in CPR, and that rate is even lower among older adults, a new study finds.

Immediate CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a person’s chances of survival. In cardiac arrest, a person’s heart suddenly stops beating.

A telephone survey of more than 9,000 adults 18 and older found that only 18 percent were currently trained in CPR . About 65 percent said they had received CPR training at some time.

“Cardiac arrest occurs among people in their 50s and 60s, and most cardiac arrests occur in the home, yet that is the population that is poorly trained or has not kept up with current training,” said senior study author Dr. Benjamin Abella.

If a key link in the chain of survival with cardiac arrest is the bystander response — including use of automatic external defibrillators and delivery of CPR — then much work is needed, Abella said in an AHA news release.

“We really need to better understand what gets bystanders to act, what gets bystanders to learn and refresh their CPR skills and the current ways to seek training in any given community,” Abella added.

Asked what they would do if they witnessed a cardiac arrest, 85 percent of respondents said they would be willing to call the EMS.  Roughly 35 percent would provide rescue breaths, chest compressions or use an automated external defibrillator. However, only 15 percent said they would be willing to do all of the above, according to the study.

Krogh called it “surprising” that only about 35 percent of respondents would actually start CPR.

“The willingness to perform CPR is very dependent on the knowledge about CPR,” Krogh said. “With this study, we can get closer to strategies to increase the knowledge about CPR and focus CPR training among the elderly.”

SOURCE: American Heart Association, news release, Nov. 12, 2016

Posted in Blog by twila