Every Monday Matters: Learn CPR, the ABCs of life
By Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Cardiac arrest may be caused by drowning, drug overdoses, poisoning, electrocution, and many other conditions.
95 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital.
75-80 percent of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen at home.
4 to 6 minutes after someone experiences cardiac arrest, brain death starts to occur.
CPR helps maintain vital blood flow to the heart and brain and increases the amount of time that an electric shock from a defibrillator can be effective.
CPR can double a victim's chance of survival.
TAKE ACTION TODAY
1. Learn the basics of CPR.
2. Find a place near you that teaches CPR or arrange for a certified CPR instructor to come to your school or workplace.
3. Sign up for a class with a family member, a friend, or even your kids.
4. Learn CPR. It only takes a few hours.
5. Post CPR guidelines in a kitchen cupboard, your office, your car, and anywhere else you frequent. These guidelines may come in handy during emergency situations. Tell people around you that the guidelines are there in case they need to perform CPR.
"I have been an educator for 18 years of my life. I love everything about being on the school campus - the young energy, the boundless learning, and the knowing that every single day I have the opportunity to change someone's life forever," said Julie Johnson of Des Moines, Iowa. "But there is one day that I will never forget ... it changed my life and career forever."
Six months ago, Julie was in the teacher's break room enjoying her lunch when one of her co-workers collapsed. Julie and the other six teachers in the room were at a complete loss. They had no idea what happened ... and no idea what to do.
"I can still see it so vividly. She just laid there. Her body was shaking, she wasn't breathing, and we couldn't find a pulse," shared Julie. "We didn't know if she was choking on something, having a heart attack, or if she tripped and hit her head."
Julie's co-worker was having a heart attack. Her heart had stopped beating and she stopped breathing ... she was losing vital seconds.
"There was this moment when we all looked at each other like we were expecting someone to know what to do, but none of us did. It was such a helpless feeling," said Julie.
After they called 911, the group of co-workers could do nothing but sit and wait.
"It was the longest eight minutes of my life," recalled Julie.
Unfortunately, for Julie's co-worker, it was eight minutes too long and she didn't make it - 43 years young, a massive heart attack, it was just not right. One will never know, but maybe, just maybe, CPR could have saved her life. If anyone in the group knew how to start chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breathing, they might have been able to buy a few minutes until the ambulance arrived.
It was such on overwhelming experience for Julie that she left her job in front of the classroom to spend her time training teachers and school administrators on the importance of being prepared for circumstances like she experienced. Julie is now the Director of Health and Prevention for an entire county and travels the country to school conferences to share her message.
"I will never let that happen again to me or anyone else. I am 100 percent committed to making sure that educators know this basic life-saving tool," said Julie. As I travel around the country and talk to groups of people, I am amazed at how few people can raise their hand because they know CPR."
No matter your profession, every single person in the world is usually around somebody throughout their day - co-workers, schoolmates, friends, family members or even strangers. One never knows when they might need to save somebody's life, but everyone can definitely imagine how it would feel to not be able to help. CPR matters.
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© 2009, The Modesto Bee Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services