Tragically, thousands of Americans die of cardiac arrest and even more tragic is the fact that thanks to a legal system that is broken tends to punish those who attempt to save lives. The result is that many are afraid to administer lifesaving CPR or first aid to those who would benefit.
Second to the above, many Americans fail to administer CPR because they fear they will harm the patient in the process. The question we ask is how much more harm can one do if someone is dying?
Golden State Lifeguards realizes the importance of educating people on the benefits of CPR and first aid. We aggressively encourage people and kids to learn CPR because one never knows when those skills come into play. We are trying to get people to become lifesavers, not bystanders.
We recently came across an article that speaks to the subject of many being afraid to administer CPR:
Many people surveyed said they are concerned about hurting the person they are trying to help or facing liability if something goes wrong.
Only half of Americans can be counted on to perform CPR in an emergency, a new survey finds.
Even more – 61 percent – worry they could unintentionally injure the victim.
It’s a concern highest among minorities. About 70 percent of African-Americans, 67 percent of Asians and 64 percent of Hispanics think they could injure the person they are trying to help, compared with 59 percent of Caucasians.
Hispanics are also more likely than Caucasians to believe special training and certification are required to perform Hands-Only CPR.
The 2016 online survey of nearly 1,200 adults was commissioned by the American Heart Association (AHA).
The Hands-Only CPR survey has been conducted since 2009.
A risk worth taking
Longtime CPR instructor Dr. Gustavo E. Flores, said the findings didn’t surprise him because he’s heard the same concerns and comments from students.
But he wants people to know the benefits of CPR greatly outweigh the risk of injury.
If your patient is in … sudden cardiac arrest, there’s nothing you can do that can make him worse.
Gustavo E. Flores, CRP instructor
“Your patient in front of you is going through the worst thing that somebody could endure – no signs of life,” said Flores, director and chief instructor at Emergency & Amp; Critical Care Trainings in San Juan, Puerto Rico. “If your patient is in … sudden cardiac arrest, there’s nothing you can do that can make him worse.”
Each year in the United States, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside a hospital. Only
about 11 percent of those treated by emergency medical services survive, according to AHA statistics.
CPR can double or triple a person’s chance of survival, especially if performed within the first few minutes of cardiac arrest.
No extensive training needed
Flores’ father also taught CPR. As a child, Flores would often accompany his father to classes.
Two decades ago, the hurdle was coming up with safe and effective techniques to pass on to the general public, Flores said.
But despite today’s simple technique of pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest, the
misconception remains that specialized training is needed, he said.
“It is safe to do Hands-Only CPR,” Flores said. “All you need is two hands.”
Far more damage comes from doing nothing.
Sean Culliney, paramedic
Emergency medical services training coordinator Sean Culliney teaches CPR in Tucson, Arizona.
“Far more damage comes from doing nothing,” said the paramedic from the Northwest Fire District.
Culliney said the survey shows the CPR community needs to do a better job of spreading the message in minority communities in urban areas.
You could be needed
The survey also showed 13 percent of respondents said they had recently been in a situation where they could have performed CPR but didn’t.
That’s up from 4 percent in the 2014 survey.
In addition, 90 percent of respondents support making CPR training mandatory for high school students.
Another 89 percent know to first call 911 if someone is in cardiac arrest, up from 86 percent in the 2014 survey.
Through the AHA’s Hands-Only CPR campaign supported by the Anthem Foundation, nearly 6.4 million people have been trained in Hands-Only CPR since 2015 through video education, events, and training kiosks.