Having chest pain? Maybe you should read this before you eat that cheeseburger.
Stats are hard to ignore. Especially this one:
90% of people die due to sudden cardiac arrest outside of the hospital.
As a professional in the field I’m clearly not happy with this number. You mean to tell me that our society has a 10% success rate with CPR? No that’s not really the case. There are many factors that play into who lives and who dies because of cardiac arrest.
Example? There is a vein on our heart called ‘The Widowmaker’ named such because if it becomes blocked and causes a heart attack?… enough said. (Also see)
In this case if CPR isn’t started within minutes and an ambulance doesn’t arrive in time, this person has little chance of survival. Also against our fight for life is inadequate CPR. The overly timid or overly zealous compressors could either be ineffective or further damaging the heart.
CPR class can be a confusing choice often left up to you without understanding what you’re buying. Buyer beware.
C P R – Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation The fabled training that will give you all the confidence and experience in the world. It is said that by taking a CPR, AED, First Aid class it will prepare you for the world of saving lives. As a young boy of 15 I was taking Lifeguard training, which included CPR, First Aid. I can tell you from experience, the first time I saw someone who might need CPR I was very hesistant to even lift a finger. I’ll bet I’m not alone in the ‘Oh Shit’ moment I had.
All that being said we need to dive a little deeper into, what I call, The Big 3.
What’s the difference? Why take a CPR class from any of these organizations? What benefits do they have for taking one or the other?
As far as I can tell there are only a few distinctions.
AHA is the research based organizations run by cardiologists (heart doctors). If you read through the site you find they are globally connected with the international community.
Red Cross is a disaster relief and lay person specific organization (non-medically trained person). The kinds of training, including CPR, are for rescue workers, blood donations, and other volunteer opportunities.
ASHI is more ‘man on the ground’ type organization. Meaning they seem to focus on EMS/Ambulance teams.
So… the question now is… What the heck do I choose? All I want to do is make sure my family is safe if we go to the pool, do I really have to choose between 400,000 (approximately) CPR instructors all offering Red Cross, AHA, and ASHI? Our advice? Call local CPR businesses and find out what they recommend. Ask questions and clarify what you don’t understand. If you feel good about taking the class, go for it. If you get a bad feeling, DON’T DO IT!
The choice ultimately is left up to you which means you’ll likely choose the cheapest most convenient option (aka Youtube). There is a reason you are tested in person. The skills are not easy and having a coach is really important. In another post we can talk more about the classes but for now understand…
CPR/First Aid is a process not just a skill set, and mastery of this process is possible.