There is a very good chance that you know someone with heart disease. It is also quite likely that you will personally witness a heart attack in your lifetime. Scientific research has shown that without Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), a person with a severe heart attack has little chance of survival. The same studies show that if you perform CPR until properly equipped paramedics from the Waterford Fire Department (or your local Emergency Medical Service) arrives, that person's chance of survival can increase immensely! While CPR is only indicated in the most severe type of heart attack, there can be a tremendous payoff in learning this life-saving procedure.
Learning about CPR
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is a simple skill that is easily learned in a 1 session class sponsored by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. In CPR, mouth-to-mouth breathing and rhythmic chest compressions are used to supply oxygen to the brain and other vital organs of a person whose heart has stopped pumping. This can provide the precious time necessary for the arrival of Advanced Life Support units. CPR from civilians at the scene is credited with making the difference between life and death.
The sooner CPR is started, the greater the chances for survival. Unfortunately, many people who have been trained in CPR are reluctant to administer it for fear of doing it wrong. It is important to remember that when indicated: Good CPR is better than bad CPR, but even bad CPR is a million times -better- than no CPR at all!
Infectious Disease Risks
Many people express a concern about the risk of HIV, AIDS and other infectious diseases when performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. This is an understandable concern which has to be weighed in each case individually. Most layperson CPR however, is performed on a close friend or loved one. The background health history and risk factors will usually be known to the rescuer. Abolishing myths and minimizing any actual or perceived risks associated with CPR is a core element in most training classes.
Other Uses for CPR
CPR can not only be used when heart attacks strike, but may save victims of drowning, electrocution, suffocation and drug overdose. CPR not only saves lives, but provides peace of mind during and after an emergency. People often feel helpless when they witness a heart attack, but with CPR training, you will know exactly what to do. Regardless of the outcome, you will know that every possible measure had been taken to assist the person in need. You will likely find this reassuring during what may be an otherwise difficult time.
Waterford CPR Training
The Waterford Fire Department, through the Waterford EMS Academy, conducts CPR and First Aid training each month for the general public. Visit the Waterford EMS Academy website to find out more or to enroll in one of these courses. The cost is minimal, and can be completed in a single afternoon!