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CPR & AED Awareness Week: The Importance of CPR Awareness and Training


CPR Awareness Week

With over 30 years of experience in teaching CPR and first aid, I’ve dedicated my career to empowering individuals with the knowledge and skills to save lives. With National CPR and AED Awareness Week from June 1-7, I want to emphasize the critical importance of CPR training and address some of the common barriers that prevent people from getting trained.


Why is CPR Awareness Week Important?

National CPR and AED Awareness Week is designed to highlight the life-saving potential of CPR and AED (Automated External Defibrillator) use. Each year, more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States. Immediate CPR can double or even triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival. Despite its proven effectiveness, less than 3% of Americans receive CPR training every year.


This week serves as a reminder of the crucial role bystanders play in emergency situations. Statistics show the reason why this is so incredibly important: 

  • About 70% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen at home, meaning the life you save is likely to be a loved one.

  • Fewer than 50% of Americans know how to perform CPR. 

  • Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the U.S. with 350,000 people suffering cardiac arrest each year. 

  • American Heart Association estimates between 100,000 - 200,000 lives could be saved each year if more people received immediate CPR​. 

  • Fewer than one third of people who need bystander CPR will receive it.

 

The goal of this awareness week is to encourage more people to get trained and be prepared to act in emergencies​.


Why Should You Take a CPR Training Course?

Bottom line, it’s better to know it and not need it than need it and not know what to do. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a critical skill that can make the difference between life and death in cardiac emergencies. When a person’s heart stops beating, immediate CPR can maintain vital blood flow to the brain and other organs until professional medical help arrives. Given that the survival rate drops by 10% with each minute of delay, the prompt action of a trained bystander is often crucial​.


Training in CPR not only equips people with the necessary skills but also builds the confidence needed to perform CPR effectively. There are approximately 10,000 cardiac arrests each year in the workplace. Only 50% of employees admit to knowing where the AED is located at their workplace. Unfortunately, many people hesitate to act due to various misconceptions and fears. Addressing these barriers is essential to increasing the number of people who are willing and able to perform CPR.


Why Don’t More People Know How to Perform CPR?

There are many reasons, the first being that it’s hard to grasp that you may need to use those skills one day. Below are the most common reasons why someone may be reluctant to learn and use CPR:

  1. Lack of Confidence in Skills: A significant barrier is the fear of performing CPR incorrectly and causing harm. Many people worry about not remembering the correct steps or applying too much pressure. This lack of confidence can deter them from even attempting CPR.

  2. Fear of Legal Repercussions: Some individuals are concerned about potential legal consequences if they perform CPR and something goes wrong. However, Good Samaritan laws in the United States provide legal protection to those who assist in emergencies, provided they act in good faith and without gross negligence.

  3. Misinterpretation of the Situation: Sometimes, bystanders fail to recognize the severity of the situation, mistaking agonal breathing or other signs of cardiac arrest for normal breathing. Proper training helps individuals accurately assess and respond to emergencies​.

  4. Fear of Inappropriate Touching: There is a documented reluctance, particularly among men, to perform CPR on women due to fears of being accused of inappropriate touching. This has resulted in a disparity in the likelihood of women receiving CPR compared to men. Addressing this concern through education and awareness is crucial​.

  5. Fear of Disease Transmission: Concerns about contracting diseases during mouth-to-mouth resuscitation are common. However, the introduction of hands-only CPR, which focuses on chest compressions and eliminates the need for mouth-to-mouth, has significantly reduced this fear. Hands-only CPR is effective and can be a life-saving measure in many situations​.


Addressing these fears through comprehensive education and awareness campaigns is essential. At CPR and Safety Lady, we offer a range of services designed to build confidence and competence in CPR and first aid:

  • CPR and AED Training: Our courses teach you how to perform CPR and use an AED with confidence.

  • First Aid Training: Be prepared for various emergencies with our detailed first aid courses.

  • Safety Workshops: Tailored workshops for schools, businesses, and community groups to promote a culture of safety.


How Long Does CPR Training Take?

The duration of CPR training can vary depending on the type and depth of the course. Basic CPR courses, such as Hands-Only CPR, are designed to be quick and straightforward, often taking as little as 20 to 30 minutes to complete. These courses focus on the essential steps of performing chest compressions and calling for emergency assistance, making them accessible and easy to fit into a busy schedule.


For those looking to gain more comprehensive skills, including both CPR and AED training, the courses typically range from 2 to 4 hours. These sessions are more in-depth and cover a wider range of scenarios, including how to use an AED and perform rescue breaths, which can be crucial in more complex emergency situations​.


Advanced CPR training, such as Basic Life Support (BLS), are designed for professionals and include rigorous hands-on practice and assessments to ensure proficiency. These are about 2-4 hours long and often incorporate team-based scenarios and advanced airway management techniques, making them essential for medical personnel. No matter which class you take, the goal is to ensure participants feel confident and prepared to act in an emergency.  


As the CPR and Safety Lady, I offer a range of training options tailored to meet various needs, from quick introductory sessions to comprehensive, professional-level courses. For more information and to find a course that fits your schedule, visit our services page.


Can Children Take CPR Training?

Absolutely! Training children in CPR is incredibly beneficial. Children, typically from the age of 10 or 11, are mature enough and physically capable of learning and performing CPR. Teaching kids these vital skills empower them to act confidently in emergencies and can make a significant difference in saving lives.


Benefits of CPR Training for Children:

  1. Empowerment and Confidence: Learning CPR gives children the confidence to act in emergency situations. This sense of empowerment can reduce panic and indecision, enabling them to provide timely help when it matters most. Children who are trained in CPR are more likely to intervene and assist, potentially saving lives in their communities and homes.

  2. Life-Saving Skills: Cardiac arrests can occur at any time and often at home. By teaching children CPR, we increase the number of individuals who are prepared to respond quickly and effectively. Immediate CPR can double or even triple a victim's chance of survival, making it a critical skill for everyone, regardless of age.

  3. Promoting Safety Awareness: CPR training often includes lessons on recognizing emergencies, calling for help, and understanding the basics of how the human body works. This broader education promotes overall safety awareness and preparedness, which is beneficial for children as they grow and encounter various situations.

  4. Encouraging Responsibility: Teaching children CPR instills a sense of responsibility and civic duty. They learn the importance of helping others and being proactive in emergency situations. This sense of responsibility can translate into other areas of their lives, fostering a caring and responsible mindset.


Our CPR training for children is designed to be age-appropriate, ensuring that the material is understandable and the skills are within their physical capabilities. We use interactive methods and practice sessions to engage children and reinforce their learning.


How Do I Schedule CPR Training in Houston?

National CPR and AED Awareness Week is an excellent opportunity to commit to learning CPR.  By providing hands-on, interactive training sessions, we aim to make CPR education accessible and engaging.  By getting trained, you can make a significant impact in your community, and the life you save could be that of a loved one. 


We offer individual and group sessions across the greater Houston area that cater to your budget and training needs. Click here for more information and to book a training session today!

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