The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

CPR needed for skill for saving lives

By Sharon Murra-Kapon/reporter

Rule No. 1: Accidents happen, and that is the main reason people should learn cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.

Most people do not take the time to consider what they would do if a life-threatening accident occurs.

Most people freeze and are not sure how to help the victim.

Last month, a border patrol agent in Harlingen saved an infant who had swallowed a toy and was choking. He performed CPR on the child before the emergency medical services arrived. At that moment, every second counted ( If he was to save the child, he had to act fast.

What is CPR?
Medline Plus online defines CPR as a lifesaving procedure performed when someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped, as in cases of electric shock, heart attack, drowning or anything that blocks the airway. It is a combination of rescue breathing, which provides oxygen to a person’s lungs and chest compressions, which keep the person’s blood circulating.

“ The heart is a pump; if you can get someone to help that pump to keep cardiac cells active, you’ll allow the opportunity to bring someone back,” Stephen Smith, associate professor in the emergency medical service program on NE Campus, said.

When blood flow or breathing stops, the victim is only as few as four minutes away from having permanent brain damage or dying.

CPR will maintain a person’s circulation and breathing until medical help arrives. “ Every second counts,” Smith said.

Chances of saving the victim are greater if someone gives CPR before the ambulance arrives.

The American Heart Association Web site reports the overall cardiac arrest survival rate has not increased in the last decade; however, immediate CPR action could double or triple the victim’s chances of survival.
Leo Warren, adjunct instructor of CPR and a Bedford firefighter, said, in most cases, he finds no one giving CPR when his team arrives at the scene.

If more people knew CPR, more victims would have had the chance of surviving, Warren said.

“ Just think the cardiac arrest victim is your mother or father. You would want someone to be there for them,” he said. “How would you feel if there was no one there who knew CPR, not even you?”

Numerous places offer CPR courses free or for a reasonable price. TCC continuing education offers CPR certification in flexible schedules for $36; the Public Health Department and Hispanic Firefighters Association offer non-certification courses free.

In addition, the American Heart Association introduced Family and Friends CPR Anytime, a self-directed, personal CPR kit that allows learning the core skills in 22 minutes.

The kit contains a personal, inflatable CPR manikin, a practice DVD, accessories and a booklet. It can be completed individually or with large groups.

The kit is available at the American Heart Association Web site in English or Spanish for $29.95.
“ Not having time to take a class is no longer an excuse,” Smith said.

According to Warren, investing time in learning a way to help save someone, possibly a family member, is rewarding.

“ The satisfaction of knowing you helped saved someone is 100 percent,” he said.

• About 75-80 percent of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen at home.

• Effectively providing CPR immediately after cardiac arrest can double a victim’s chance of survival.

• CPR helps maintain vital blood flow to the heart and brain .

• Approximately 95 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital.

• Death from sudden cardiac arrest is not inevitable. If more people knew CPR, more lives could be saved.

• Brain death starts to occur four to six minutes after someone experiences cardiac arrest if no CPR and defibrillation occurs during that time.

• If bystander CPR is not provided, a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s chances of survival fall 7-10 percent for every minute of delay until defibrillation. Few attempts at resuscitation are successful if CPR and defibrillation are not provided within minutes of collapse.

• Coronary heart disease accounts for about 450,000 of the 871,517 adults who die as a result of cardiovascular disease.

• Approximately 325,000 of all annual adult coronary heart disease deaths in the U.S. are due to sudden cardiac arrest, suffered outside the hospital setting and in hospital emergency departments. About 900 Americans die every day due to sudden cardiac arrest.

• Sudden cardiac arrest is most often caused by an abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation. Cardiac arrest can also occur after the onset of a heart attack or as a result of electrocution or near-drowning.

• When sudden cardiac arrest occurs, the victim collapses, becomes unresponsive to gentle shaking, stops normal breathing and after two rescue breaths, still is not breathing normally, coughing or moving.

Source: American Heart Association

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