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Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month - The Importance of CPR Training

Updated: Dec 8, 2023

Individual practicing life-saving CPR technique on a training dummy during Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month.
Proper technique in action: Practicing CPR during a training session can be the difference between life and death.

It’s hard to believe it’s already autumn! September seemed to pass in the blink of an eye, and I'm anticipating the arrival of crisp, fall weather to replace the summer heat!

October is also a significant month as it is designated as National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month. It’s a poignant reminder that around 350,000 Americans succumb to sudden cardiac arrest every year, making it a leading cause of death in the United States. The good news is that with immediate CPR and early defibrillation, between 100,000 and 200,000 lives may be spared each year. Swift action in administering CPR and defibrillation within the first three minutes can dramatically increase a victim’s survival chance by 70%.

Why don’t more people perform CPR?

A lack of CPR knowledge, hesitancy to perform CPR due to legal concerns or fear of causing harm are contributing factors to low survival rates. It’s crucial to understand that Good Samaritan Laws protect individuals who administer CPR, and as I often emphasize in my classes, the priority is to act — don't be paralyzed by the fear of causing injury.

On a brighter note, strides are being made to improve survival rates:

  • Currently, 27 states mandate that high school seniors undergo 30 minutes of CPR training before graduation, fostering a generation more adept and willing to perform CPR when necessary.

  • Hands Only CPR is gaining traction, a method that necessitates no breathing on the part of the rescuer.

  • Internationally, in countries like Germany, there are stringent requirements in place for obtaining a driver's license, including proof of CPR AED First Aid training.

  • Seattle, Washington is leading the way with an impressive 62% sudden cardiac arrest survival rate. The city has achieved this through widespread CPR training and ensuring that their 911 operators can provide CPR instructions during emergency calls. An impressive 75% of the Seattle community is well-versed in CPR and has access to AEDs.

It’s also crucial to address the disparities in the administration of CPR. Women are less likely than men to receive bystander CPR, and men have a 23% higher survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest. Similarly, Black and Hispanic individuals who experience cardiac arrest outside of hospitals are less likely to receive bystander CPR compared to their white counterparts.

How can you contribute to changing these statistics?

  • Commit to taking a CPR class every two years and advocate for training within your workplace, residence, school, or social circles.

  • If you witness someone unconscious and not breathing, don't hesitate — begin chest compressions immediately. Your intervention can significantly increase their chances of survival.

If you're considering organizing CPR training for your group, family, or team, I’m here to assist you! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at for more information.

Stay safe and healthy!

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