If you experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital, you have a 2% chance of pulling through without long term damage.
The No. 1 thing that has been shown to make a difference is the action of a bystander, and studies show that bystanders perform CPR in only 20 to 30% of cases. According to the American Heart Association, without someone attempting CPR, the survival rate decreases 7 – 10% for every minute that goes by.
Researchers say its not because people don’t want to help. Its because they are apprehensive about putting their mouth’s on someone else’s, especially if that person is dying.
Here is a good news secret from Dr. Sanjay Gupta: When a person’s heart stops beating, its not the end. Death is a process that can be interrupted.
Without a heartbeat, circulation slows to a halt and the brain is the first one to suffer. In normal times, the brain, which constitutes 2% of our body mass, consumes 20% of the oxygen the body takes in. After 10 seconds without oxygen, the brain’s functions slow. Without oxygen or signals from the brain, other organs begin to break down. The key is oxygen, and as it turns out, our bloodstreams contain plenty of oxygen at any moment. Even if we stop breathing, our oxygen levels remain normal for quite a while. If we do stop breathing, however, the sole way to make the oxygen circulate is by having someone pump our chests.
The act of keeping oxygen circulating could increase a victim’s chances of surviving by as much as 70%.
Since heart disease is the no. 1 killer in the U.S., the simple act of pumping someone’s chest could save thousands of lives every year.
If you see someone suffer what you think may be cardiac arrest, call 911, start giving chest compressions 100 times a minute, and don’t stop for anything!
For more information and to find classes in your area, go to www.americanheart.org.
Source: www.parade.com/healthFebruary 2, 2010 2:37 pm