CPR for everyone

Emergency SignWritten by: Dr. Nathan Larsen, MD, Medical Director, Emergency Dept. EMS Medical Director at Agnesian Healthcare

Every day, there are stories about somebody keeling over from a sudden heart attack, a child choking on a small object or somebody passing out in a heated environment. What would you do if this happened right in front of you? How would you respond, especially as a lay person who has no experience in the medical field? The first answer that might come to mind is panic. It’s a natural response for someone who isn’t trained or prepared for this type of situation. Of course, concern and urgency will accompany panic, but if you’re not trained in CPR you might have no idea how to help the victim. This is the reason that everyone should take the American Heart Association (AHA) Heartsaver Class.

CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is an extremely useful skill that can help save someone’s life. While it is so valuable, many Americans simply do not know it and do not plan on learning it. If every American takes a CPR class and gets their CPR certification, then thousands of deaths could be prevented each year. In instances where someone begins to go into cardiac arrest, their chances of survival are much larger if they are immediately given CPR. It is a vital skill that must be taught to more people.

Whether or not you are required to get certified in CPR, it’s always better to be prepared for anything. You never know when someone might collapse, choke, faint or otherwise need CPR. Whether it’s a stranger, your spouse, your child or a loved one, you’ll want to master this essential skill so that you can administer life-saving help until trained professionals arrive. Every second counts when the body cannot breathe on its own.

Agnesian HealthCare offers Heartsaver AED classes in Fond du Lac and Ripon. Taught by an American Heart Association CPR instructor, this one-night class teaches adult CPR and recognition in the use of AED (automatic external defibrillator), as well as how to relieve choking on an adult. For additional information and class offerings, contact Journeys: a health resource center at (920) 926-4960 or visit us on-line at agnesian.com/communitycalendar.

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