CPR and AED Awareness Week

CPR and AED Awareness Week

Each year in the United States, the first week of June is an observation of National CPR-AED Awareness Week. The week serves to highlight the importance of getting training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).

This growing national movement stresses important facts to increase public awareness, such as most out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen at home. This means when sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) happens, if it is witnessed, it is most likely seen by a family member or a close friend. Knowing what to do if a cardiac emergency occurs could help you increase survival rates and potentially save the life of someone you love.

What is sudden cardiac arrest (SCA)?

Cardiac arrest is among the leading causes of death in the United States and worldwide. Specifically, cardiac arrest in adults is the loss of the heart’s ability to pump blood through the body due to an inadequate or absent heartbeat. The most dramatic occurrence, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can happen with little or no warning.

SCA occurs when the normal electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic and cause the heart to stop beating. This means the heart cannot pump blood, so blood flow to the body, along with the oxygen the blood carries to vital organs, abruptly stops.

Immediate, high-quality CPR along with early defibrillation with an AED can more than double the likelihood of a victim’s chance of cardiac arrest survival.

Learn more about SCA facts.

How an automated external defibrillator (AED) helps

When someone is experiencing a cardiac arrest, an AED analyzes a person’s heart rhythm and delivers a lifesaving shock to restore the heartbeat. AEDs are simple and safe to use, even for untrained bystanders.

Most AEDs provide visual and/or audio prompts to begin CPR. Some AEDs also provide real-time CPR coaching and feedback to help the rescuer provide adequate compressions.

When it’s time to use an AED during a cardiac emergency, the best AED is the closest AED. That’s why having an AED in your home and AEDs in public areas with easy access are important for a cardiac arrest victim’s best chance at survival.

Learn more about the use of an AED and its significance in saving lives when combined with high-quality bystander CPR.

Why cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training is necessary

Everyone from young children to older adults can benefit from taking a CPR and AED training course. When immediate CPR happens after a cardiac arrest, the person’s chance of survival increases.

Training with a CPR course that includes instruction in CPR skills and AED training is the best way to ensure everyone is prepared to deliver effective bystander CPR if an emergency occurs within your home or anywhere in public.

HSI CPR, AED and First Aid programs offer time for hands-on skills training. This means students have plenty of time to practice the lessons and develop a muscle memory that helps them recall skills, such as effective chest compressions, and take immediate action when an emergency occurs.

If you find yourself witnessing a cardiac emergency, and haven’t yet been trained in conventional CPR, you can remember Call-Push-Shock, a national collaborative movement co-sponsored by Parent Heart Watch (PHW) and Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation (SCAF) promoting hands-only CPR. It urges bystanders to call 911, provide CPR and use an AED.

Bottom line: CPR and AED training saves lives

National CPR and AED awareness week stresses the importance of learning CPR and AED skills. People of all ages can make a difference by getting training for yourself, your family and even your colleagues at work.

Contact an HSI Training center near you to learn more about classes in your area.

If you are interested in bringing lifesaving training to your community or workplace, you can become an authorized HSI instructor.

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