475,000! The number of Americans dying from cardiac arrests annually. These people experience unprecedented deaths due to a sudden loss of blood flow by failure to effectively pump in the heart. Fortunately, just a few hours or even minutes of training may get you to save someone’s life with the use of CPR. CPR is a medical procedure involving repeated compressions of a patient’s chest, performed in an attempt to restore the blood circulation and breathing of a person who has suffered cardiac arrest.
A tremendously large number of heart failures occur suddenly in public or households than in hospitals within the reach of medical professionals. When a person has a cardiac arrest, his or her survival wholly hinges upon receiving immediate CPR from someone nearby. Unfortunately, seventy percent of Americans today feel helpless to act under such emergencies because of a lack of knowledge in CPR administration or the fear of accidentally hurting the victim. It usually is too late for anything to be done by the time the patient arrives at the hospital; therefore, it is crucial for everyone to get trained and not miss that golden time of saving someone’s life.
Here is the good news: In recognition of National Heart Month in February, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health Service (LADPH) partnered with the Los Angeles Fire Department, the American Heart Association, and the American Red Cross to train 100,000 people in CPR. Most CPR certifications usually cost about a hundred dollars which can be overwhelming for many people but this training was free for all who signed up.
The type of training provided by LADPH was a brief Hands-Only CPR that utilizes chest compressions without mouth contact for resuscitation. Unlike a typical certification training, Hands-Only CPR focuses more on the “rescue without breath” mission which only uses hands to push the chest to the beat of a familiar song that has 100 to 120 beats per minute. This easy quick-to-learn process has been proven to be as effective as the conventional CPR.
The LADPH states the general instructions of Hands-Only CPR are:
“If you see a teen or adult collapse, you can perform Hands-Only CPR with just two easy steps: 1) Call 911 and 2) Push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the Bee Gees’ classic disco song “Stayin’ Alive.” The song is 100 beats per minute – the minimum rate you should push on the chest during Hands Only CPR.” (Los Angeles Department of Public Health)
With a resolute goal of raising nationwide awareness of Hands-Only CPR as a lifesaving method and increasing the likelihood of people to perform CPR in an emergency, it is hoping to reach more people. Training residents with a skill that can potentially save someone from a fairly preventable death can make a remarkable difference to that initial cardiac arrest death statistics.
To follow suit, Ramdasi Rasika Ph.D. ,the biology teacher at Larchmont Charter School, is hosting a school CPR training sponsored by LADPH this spring. “Learning about CPR could teach students to save a life in an emergency but also teach them an essential real-life skill. As a Biology teacher, it is exciting for me to have my students receive CPR education as they can see the application of science concepts in real life. This would make classroom learning more relatable and exciting!”
For more information on free CPR classes provided by Los Angeles Department of Public Health, visit: www.publichealth.lacounty.gov
And, learn CPR to become a heart hero yourself!
Goeun Lee, Grade 10
Larchmont Charter School