Category Archives: CPR

10 Reasons Why AED Drills Are Important in Schools

Discover why AED drills are important and learn how to run an effective drill.

AEDs can save lives, but only if educators and administrators are prepared to take action. Tornado, fire, lockdown, and even active shooter drills are the norm for most schools across the country, but when is the last time you scheduled a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA)/AED drill?

In this post, we’ll discuss the reasons why SCA/AED drills are important in schools and we’ll give you the tools you need to create an effective drill.

Why are AED Drills Important? SCA is Shockingly Common in Schools.

A couple of weeks ago, we covered the importance of AEDs in schools. However, if you’re a by-the-numbers kind of person, here are a few statistics about SCA in schools and in children under the age 18:

  1. In the United States, 1 in 25 schools experiences an SCA event each year.
  2. In 2017, 7,037 children died from cardiac arrest.
  3. Schools are community gathering places, and adults are even more likely to suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in a school setting than young adults.
  4. The hospital survival rate of students who experience SCA in a school with an AED is approximately 70%.
  5. The hospital survival rate of students who experience SCA in a school without an AED is approximately 8%.
  6. Student-athletes are more than 2 times as likely to die from SCA than non-athletes.
  7. 66% of the deaths caused by SCA in children occur during regular exercise.
  8. SCA caused by commotio cordis is the most common cause of traumatic death in youth baseball.
  9. Survival decreases an astounding 10% every minute until a defibrillator shock is applied.
  10. SCA in young people can be caused by Long QT Syndrome, commotio cordis, or congenital heart disease.

Sources: American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, Resuscitation Journal, Close the Gap, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, National Institute of Health, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

How to Run an Effective AED Drill: Create, Practice, and Review.

Developing and running effective AED drills are an essential part of your school’s emergency plan. Because the single most important contributing factor for survival of SCA is minimizing the time from collapse to defibrillation —  survival decreases an astounding 10% every minute until a shock is applied — knowing what to do and how to do it quickly may save a life of a student, parent, or school employee.

Regularly scheduled drills can test your team and your student body’s readiness and their ability to act quickly and to respond appropriately in the event of a cardiac emergency.

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation’s publication Saving Lives in Schools and Sports recommends developing and conducting practice drills for your cardiac Emergency Action Plan (EAP); it’s the best way to make sure it works! Then, once you’ve executed your drill, be sure that you conduct a detailed post-drill review so you and your team can make changes based on real-life scenarios.

Planning Your AED Drill

Here’s a convenient checklist for your annual or semi-annual AED drill:

  • Inform your team that you’ll be conducting a drill in the next week or two so they have an opportunity to review your EAP.
  • Make sure your staff is trained in adult, child, and infant CPR.
  • Choose a scenario that fits your setting.
  • Designate an observer/proctor to administer the drill.
  • Develop a drill worksheet (this worksheet should include the scenario for the drill, the time the drill commenced, when the victim was found, time the rescuer called 911, when chest compressions started, when other bystanders arrived on the scene, when the AED arrived on the scene, when AED training pads were applied, and the names of each individual performing the actions).
  • You’ll need an appropriately-sized CPR Manikin, AED trainer, AED, and a timing device.

Day of AED Drill

On the day of your school’s AED drill, your designated observer will place the CPR manikin in an appropriate, visible location. As soon as the manikin has been observed and someone has activated the EAP, the observer should note the time and read the scenario to the responders.

As soon as the responders have obtained the AED from its usual location, the observer should hand the rescuers the AED trainer to continue the drill (if possible, ask an assistant to return the emergency-ready AED to its clearly marked and accessible location). Do not use your emergency-ready AED for the drill! During this time the observer will record times and responses. If possible, the observer should take a video recording of the drill for post-drill evaluation.

After Drill Review

First, congratulate your team on a job well done! Then give everyone some time to process and think about their part in the drill. After everyone has had a day to think about how things went, bring your staff members together for a detailed analysis of your AED drill. Ask your educators what they thought went well. If possible, review the video of the drill. Ask your observer to note what the rescuers did right and what they could have been done better. Consider which parts of the drill went smoothly and which parts were more challenging.

If you make changes to your emergency action plan, be sure to communicate those changes and schedule another drill for later in the school year!

For more information about AED packages for your school or AED and CPR training, call the team at Cardio Partners and AED.com at 866-349-4362 or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

The Importance of AEDs in Schools

10 Facts About Automated External Defibrillators in Schools

With students across the country settling in for another year of learning, now is the perfect time to discuss the importance of AEDs in schools. Last week we covered the differences in adult, child, and infant CPR as well as the pediatric chain of survival and this week we’ll cover some interesting facts and statistics about AEDs in schools.

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occurs when the heart stops beating suddenly and unexpectedly. Often, this is caused by ventricular fibrillation (VF). VF is an abnormality in the heart’s electrical system, and when this occurs blood stops pumping to the brain, heart, and the rest of your vital organs. Bystanders who promptly begin CPR and defibrillation can keep oxygenated blood flowing throughout the body and preserve life.

Although sudden cardiac death (SCD) is shocking and leaves its mark on survivors, regardless of the age of the victim, it’s particularly tragic when school-aged children are the victims of SCD. The scars left by SCD on families, schools, and communities can be profound. Here at Cardio Partners and AED.com, we’re doing our best to raise awareness about SCA and to advocate for AEDs in the home, on the job, and in our schools.

Thousands of Children Die From Cardiac Arrest Each Year

According to the American Heart Association’s latest figures, 7,037 children die from cardiac arrest each year. When you consider that most American children spend between 175 and 180 days in school each year and receive between 900 and 1,000 hours of instructional time per year (Center for Public Education) it’s critically important for our public schools to have AEDs readily available.

SCA is Shockingly Common

It’s hard to believe, but two in fifty high schools in the United States can expect an SCA event each year.

Most States Do Not Require AEDs in Public Schools

Although Tennessee, Cardio Partners’ home state, just joined the ranks of states that require AEDs in public high schools, fewer than 20 states have enacted legislation requiring AEDs in public schools. Just nine of those states provide funding for AEDs.

AEDs in Schools Dramatically Improve the Hospital Survival Rate

The hospital survival rate of students who suffer from cardiac arrest in a school with an AED is approximately 70%, compared with only approximately 8% in the overall population of school-age children (American College of Cardiology).

Young Athletes are More Likely to Experience Sudden Cardiac Death than Non-Athletes

In the United States, a young competitive athlete dies suddenly every three days. Young athletes are more than twice as likely to experience SCD than young non-athletes (Close the Gap). The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found that two-thirds of the deaths caused by SCA in children occur during exercise or activity. In fact, SCA is the leading cause of death in young athletes.

Every Second Counts

The American College of Cardiology notes that, “The most important contributing factor for survival of sudden cardiac arrest is the time from collapse to defibrillation. Survival decreases 10% every minute until a shock is applied.”

Anyone Can Use an AED

Studies indicate that students without any prior CPR or AED training can accurately use an AED as directed. AEDs are, by design, easy to use. By following an AED’s simple, clear voice prompts, bystanders can perform the crucial steps that can save a life.

The Biggest Hurdle for Many Schools is Cost

Many companies, including Cardio Partners and AED.com, offer affordable AED packages to schools. These packages may include an AED, compliance management, a wall cabinet, AED pads, a rescue-ready kit, signage, and more. CPR and AED training courses are also available.

Finding the Best Location for Your AED is Important

Your school’s AED can’t save a life if no one can find it! Finding the best placement for your AED is crucial. Locating an AED in a highly visible and public location can mean the difference between life and death.

Good Samaritan Laws Protect Bystanders

You should never be afraid to lend assistance to someone experiencing SCA. Although not all states mandate the placement of AEDs in schools, all 50 states have enacted Good Samaritan laws to protect bystanders who use an AED to resuscitate a victim of SCA.

For more information about AED packages for your school or AED and CPR training, call the team at Cardio Partners and AED.com at 866-349-4362 or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

What are the Differences Between Infant, Child, and Adult CPR?

Learn the Pediatric Chain of Survival and Discover the key differences between Pediatric and Adult CPR

We’re the first to admit that the idea of performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on an infant or child is pretty scary. Although all of us here at Cardio Partners hope that you’ll never be called upon to perform CPR on a child, it’s important to understand the very significant differences between the three types of CPR.

Because a child’s physiology, musculature, bone density, and strength are different from an adult’s, CPR is performed differently. In fact, if adult CPR is performed on a child, it could do more harm than good.

Pediatric Chain of Survival

Earlier this month, we discussed Why the Chain of Survival is So Important, and in this post we’ll cover not only the differences between adult and pediatric CPR, but also the differences in the Chain of Survival for adults and children.

The Pediatric Chain of Survival is a sequence of events this is most likely to save the life of a young victim of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Unlike the adult Chain of Survival, which begins with early recognition and call for emergency assistance, the pediatric Chain of Survival dictates that high-quality CPR start immediately. This is because children are more likely to suffer from SCA caused by an obstructed airway or shock, so it’s important to be able to recognize and prevent respiratory problems or cardiac arrest before they occur. Only after performing CPR for a full  two minutes should the rescuer then call 911.

The Pediatric Chain of Survival consists of:

  1. Prevention of Cardiac Arrest
  2. Early, High-Quality CPR
  3. Rapid Activation of the Emergency Response System
  4. Effective Advanced Life Support
  5. Integrated Post-Cardiac Arrest Care

(Source: American Heart Association)

An Overview of the Three Different Types of CPR

Adult CPR

If you’re ever called upon to perform CPR on an adult, call 911 immediately before starting CPR. Check for a pulse and then begin CPR with chest compressions. If you’re not CPR-certified, a 911 operator can guide you through hands-only CPR. Push hard and fast on the center of the chest at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute. Check out our Greatest Hits to Save Lives playlist to get a sense of the rhythm.

The compression depth for adults should be at least two inches and the chest should recoil completely between compressions. If you are CPR-certified, remember to use the ratio of 30 compressions to two rescue breaths. Use an AED if one is available.

Child CPR

Pediatric resuscitation protocols apply to infants less than 1 year of age and children up to the age of puberty or those weighing less than 121 pounds (Merck Manuals).

Although CPR for children is very similar to adult CPR, rescuers should start CPR before calling 911. If you’re the only person around and you need to make a choice between starting CPR and dialing 911, go for the CPR! Typically, children are more resilient than adults and their chances of survival are much higher if you begin CPR immediately.

After two minutes of CPR with rescue breaths, call 911. Because a child’s airway is more fragile than an adult’s, use caution when providing rescue breaths and be careful not to tilt the head back too far. When providing chest compressions, use one or two hands, depending on the size of the child. The depth of compressions should be only one and a half inches. The ratio of compressions to rescue breaths, 30:2, is the same for children as for adults.

If an AED is available, apply pediatric pads and use it after five cycles of CPR.

Infant CPR

Great care should be taken when performing CPR on an infant. Although a baby’s bones are more flexible, they’re also much more delicate. First, confirm that the baby is unconscious. Do not shake the baby; instead, shout and tap or flick the soles of the infant’s feet.

As with older children, you’ll want to begin CPR on an infant before calling 911. Of course, if there’s another person at the scene, ask them to call.

Check for a pulse on the inside of the upper arm and begin CPR immediately if you’re not able to detect a pulse. When providing rescue breaths to an infant, gently tilt the head so that the baby’s nose appears to be sniffing the air — this is known as the “sniffing position.” Do not tip the head back too far! Be very gentle when providing rescue breathing; don’t use the full force of your lungs to expel air. Instead, use your cheeks and puff air into the infant’s mouth and nose.

When providing compressions, use two fingers at the center of the baby’s chest. Compressions should be about an inch and a half deep at a rate of 30 compressions to two rescue breaths.

If an AED is available, apply pediatric pads and use it after five cycles of CPR. According to the American Red Cross, you may use an AED configured for an adult if pediatric settings or pads are not available.

(Sources: American Red Cross and National CPR Association)

To learn more about our CPR and AED Training or to purchase an AED with pediatric capabilities, visit aed.com or call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. You can also email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

Why is the Chain of Survival So Important?

Understanding the 5 Links in the Chain of Survival Can Improve Outcomes for SCA Survivors

The Chain of Survival is a metaphorical depiction of a series of critical actions that rescuers (bystanders or paramedics) need to take to improve the likelihood of survival following a cardiac arrest. Why is it so important? Put simply, knowing and understanding the five key “links” in the chain can vastly reduce mortality rates.

A majority of SCA survivors receive immediate help from bystanders. In fact, the time between the onset of arrest symptoms and care determines the likelihood of survival. Whether you’re a trained medical professional or a layperson, understanding the Chain of Survival can make all the difference.

Need more compelling evidence? The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation reports that “If treatment is not provided within 10 minutes, the survival rate is close to zero. Because minutes count, the public plays a crucial role in saving lives threatened by SCA.”

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the 5 links in the adult out-of-hospital Chain of Survival are:

  • Recognition of cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency response system
  • Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with an emphasis on chest compressions
  • Rapid defibrillation
  • Basic and advanced emergency medical services
  • Advanced life support and post-cardiac arrest care

Early Recognition and Call for Emergency Assistance

The first link, early recognition of cardiac arrest and the prompt activation of the emergency response protocol, is absolutely essential. When an out-of-hospital cardiac emergency occurs, dial 911 immediately. If the incident should occur on a job site or in a professional setting, the internal alert system should also be triggered, which will improve the odds obtaining of skilled, on-site assistance and equipment as soon as possible.

If someone reports experiencing pain or discomfort in the chest, jaw, neck or back, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, or discomfort in the arm or shoulder, call 911. If an individual is unresponsive and is not breathing, call 911.

If possible, send someone to retrieve the nearest automated external defibrillator (AED).

What’s the Difference Between a Heart Attack and Sudden Cardiac Arrest? Well, in short, a heart attack is caused by a blockage in a vein or artery and SCA is caused by an electrical malfunction in the heart. Cardiac arrest may be caused by a heart attack, SCA, drowning, electrocution, or an obstructed airway. To make matters even more confusing, symptoms of a heart attack may vary and can be different for men than for women.

Don’t hesitate to call 911! It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Prompt CPR with Chest Compressions

The second link dictates that CPR should commence immediately after a cardiac arrest has occurred. If you do not know how to perform CPR, a 911 operator will talk you through the procedure. If you are not trained in CPR, use hands-only CPR by pushing hard and fast on the center of the chest at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute. The compression depth for adults should be at least two inches and the chest should recoil completely between compressions.

Anyone can perform CPR, and if possible it should be done without interruption until skilled emergency medical responders arrive.

Remember, any assistance is better than no assistance at all.

Rapid Defibrillation

As soon as an AED becomes available, the rescuer should place the device next to the victim. Simply turn it on and follow the visual and audio prompts. If a shock is advised, stand clear and make sure no one is in contact with the patient, then administer the shock.

The Zoll AED Plus, for example, will inform the rescuer when they are or aren’t pushing hard or fast enough. It’ll even show you the depth of each compression in real time. The AED Plus offers support to help rescuers successfully complete the Chain of Survival.

Basic and Advanced Care

The fourth link, basic and advanced emergency medical services, refers to the rapid response of highly trained and equipped EMS personnel who can respond to the patient, administer medications, and offer advanced respiration procedures and interventions as needed. This step is often dependent upon the very first link in the chain: early recognition and call for emergency assistance!

Advanced Life Support and Post Cardiac Arrest Care

The fifth and final link, Advanced Life Support and Post Cardiac Arrest Care, is best left to medical professionals. It may involve a multidisciplinary care team composed of cardiologists, physical therapists, and dieticians.

Ready to learn CPR or First Aid? AED.com and Cardio Partners is a trusted nationwide CPR training center. We offer CPR, First Aid, AED, and bloodborne pathogen training courses in all 50 states in traditional classroom settings and in blended learning courses. To learn more about our courses or to schedule a training, call our team at 866-349-4362 or email Cardio Partners at customerservice@cardiopartners.com. We’d love to hear from you!

The History of CPR and How it Works

Modern Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Isn’t All That Modern

Photo Credit: Safar Center for Resuscitation Research

Fun Fact: mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is three centuries old! Who knew? Before we dive into the fascinating history of CPR, however, we’re going to take a moment or two to talk about cardiac arrest, how CPR works, Who knew? Before we dive into the fascinating history of CPR, however, we’re going to take a moment or two to talk about cardiac arrest, how CPR works, and how something that was first analyzed in a medical publication in 1792 has evolved into modern-day CPR.

A Few Words about Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can happen at any time. In many cases, victims may appear perfectly healthy and may not have any known pre-existing heart conditions. AED and CPR advocate Rob Seymour, who we profiled in March, is a perfect example!

Unlike a heart attack, which is caused by a blockage in an artery or vein, SCA occurs when the electrical system of the heart stops functioning. While heart attacks are often preceded by some pretty clear symptoms, SCA rarely is. If you’d like to learn more about the difference between a heart attack and SCA and their symptoms, you’re in luck — we covered that topic back in March!

According to the American Heart Association, approximately 350,000 people suffered cardiac arrest outside of a hospital in 2016. An additional 209,000 cardiac arrests occurred in a hospital setting.

People who experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital have about a 12% chance of survival. While that’s a pretty dismal statistic, the good news is that the survival rate has been increasing over the past several years. Furthermore, the chances of survival are doubled or even tripled if the victim receives CPR from a bystander—even one with no prior medical training! If that’s not enough, check out our post, 10 Reasons to Learn CPR.

The key to survival for victims of cardiac arrest is often receiving CPR immediately.

How CPR Works

CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is an easy-to-learn first aid technique that can keep the victims of a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) or other medical emergency alive until medical professionals can take over. Chest compressions and rescue breathing work together to keep oxygen flowing in and out of the lungs and to maintain the flow of oxygenated blood throughout the entire body.

When rescue breaths are used, the rescuer’s exhaled breath provides the victim with additional oxygen. Although we exhale carbon dioxide, there’s enough oxygen in every exhaled breath (approximately 16%) to help an SCA victim (University of Washington).

The History of CPR

1700s

In 1740, The Paris Academy of Sciences officially recommends mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for drowning victims. And 17 years later, The Society for the Recovery of Drowned Persons becomes the first organized effort to deal with sudden and unexpected death.

Dr. James Curry publishes “Popular Observations on Apparent Death from Drowning, Suffocation, Etc., with an Account of the Means to be Employed for Recovery” in 1792.

1800s

In 1892 German doctor Friedrich Maass publishes “Resuscitation Technique Following Cardiac Death after Inhalation of Chloroform” in the Berlin Clinical Weekly.

1900s

At the turn of the century, an American surgeon, Dr. George Crile, reports the first successful use of external chest compressions in human resuscitation.

In 1954 Dr. James Elam is the first to prove that expired air was sufficient to maintain adequate oxygenation. Two years later, Elam and Dr. Peter Safar are able to prove the efficacy of CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

1960s

The American Heart Association starts a program to acquaint physicians with closed-chest cardiac resuscitation. This program becomes the forerunner of CPR training for the general public.

Cardiologist Leonard Scherlis starts the American Heart Association’s CPR Committee in 1963, and later that same year, the American Heart Association formally endorses CPR.

1970s

In 1972, Leonard Cobb holds the world’s first mass citizen training in CPR in Seattle, Washington called Medic 2. He helps train over 100,000 people during the first two years of the program.

1980s

Now considered common practice by 911 operators, a program to provide telephone instructions for CPR begins in King County, Washington.

1990s

Early Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) programs are developed to provide training and resources to the public to improve bystander assistance rates and to increase the successful resuscitation of cardiac arrest victims.

2000s

The American Heart Association (AHA) and International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) releases a statement regarding the use of AEDs on children. It is determined that an AED may be used for children one to eight years of age who have no signs of circulation.

In 2008, the AHA releases a statement about Hands-Only™ CPR, saying that bystanders who witness the sudden collapse of an adult should dial 911 and provide high-quality chest compressions by pushing hard and fast in the middle of the victim’s chest.

SOURCES: American Heart Association, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, European Resuscitation Journal

For the full scoop on CPR or AEDs, CPR and AED Training, or to purchase an AED, visit AED.com or call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. You can also email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

How to Choose the Best CPR Manikin for Your Organization

What You Need to Know about Feedback Requirements for CPR Manikins and More!

There are plenty of CPR training manikins on the market, but not all dummies are created equal. Know what to look for when choosing a CPR manikin, so you can find the one that’s right for your training program.

New Requirements For American Heart Association CPR Classes

As of January 31, The American Heart Association (AHA) will require the use of an instrumented directive feedback device in all courses that teach adult CPR skills. These devices help ensure your students are compressing deep and fast enough for effective CPR.

If your mankins are looking a little worse for wear and you are considering replacements, be sure to invest in high-quality training manikins with real-time audiovisual and corrective evaluation instruction on chest compression rate, depth, chest recoil, and proper hand placement during CPR training.

“Specific and targeted feedback is critical to students understanding and delivering high-quality CPR when faced with a cardiac emergency. Incorporating feedback devices into adult CPR courses improves the quality and consistency of CPR training, which increases the chance of a successful outcome when CPR is performed,” noted AHA volunteer and professor, Mary Elizabeth Mancini, Ph.D., MSN.

Using American Heart Association-approved CPR dummies with feedback improves training quality and provides consistency

“When CPR is taught and performed according to the American Heart Association’s CPR and ECC Guidelines, chest compressions are delivered at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute and a depth of at least two inches. To comply with the new course requirement, feedback devices must, at a minimum, measure and provide real-time audio and/or visual feedback on compression rate and depth, allowing students to self-correct or validate their skill performance immediately during training” (AHA).

As a CPR instructor, you undoubtedly keep an eye on your students’ form; however, you also know that it can be tough to watch every student simultaneously! (Don’t forget to share our CPR Playlist with your students!) Manikins with built-in immediate feedback improves training and makes for a better lifesaver.

Other Considerations for Choosing a CPR Manikin

Are You Traveling to Your Instructional Sites?

If you do a lot of on-site CPR training that requires traveling to different locations, you should consider a smaller, lightweight manikin. Look for a device that’s easy to carry, easy to set up, and easy to clean!

On the other hand, if your trainings are held at outdoor worksites or on rough concrete floors, you may want to prioritize durability over portability.  The Prestan Professional Adult Jaw Thrust Training Manikin, for example, is durable, reliable and well-loved by CPR instructors!

“The Prestan manikin has a unique light-up system under the chest skin near the shoulder. A series of small indicator lights will let you know if the student is pumping at the correct rate. When the student has two green lights, he or she is right on target at 100 beats per minute. When testing the Prestan, we found the lights to be very helpful, accurate, and easy to see” (Occupational Health and Safety).

Which CPR Manikin Features Are Most Important?

  • Feedback: With new CPR requirements on the horizon, make sure your new manikin has a directive feedback device!
  • AED-trainer compatibility: While you’re at it, you may also want to make sure that it’s AED-trainer compatible.
  • Latex-free: As many people are allergic to latex, make sure your manikin is latex-free! (Both Laerdal and Prestan CPR dummies are latex-free).
  • Heimlich compatibility: If you’re also teaching first aid, make sure that your students will be able to practice abdominal thrusts on the manikin.
  • Skin tone: both Laerdal and Prestan offer skin tone choices.
  • Lung Systems: Lung systems vary depending on the brand of manikin you select. Some feature reusable lungs with washable mouth/nose pieces and some are disposable.

Need some additional help deciding which CPR training manikin is right for you? We’d love to offer our assistance. Call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. You can also email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

(Almost) Everything You Need to Know About CPR and AEDs

What is CPR? What Are AEDs? We Have the Answers!

Coming off the heels of a heart-pounding CPR and AED Awareness week, we realized that although we had a great time with our CPR Songs: Greatest Hits to Save Lives, it might be wise to share some general information about CPR and AEDs.

Because it’s impossible to teach you everything you need to know about CPR and AEDs in the space of a blog, we’re happy to share the top 10 things you need to know about the life-saving procedure and device. For everything you need to know, sign up for a CPR and AED training class today!

5 Things You Need to Know About CPR:

What is CPR?

CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is an easy-to-learn first aid technique that can keep the victims of a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) or other medical emergency alive until medical professionals can take over.

What Does CPR Do?

CPR keeps blood pumping through the body, which helps maintain vital organ function. CPR has two primary goals: to keep oxygen flowing in and out of the lungs and to keep oxygenated blood flowing throughout the entire body.

Anyone Can Learn CPR

Although real-life doctors (and the actors who just play them on TV) perform CPR professionally, CPR training is easy and anyone can do it. With more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occurring each and every year, amateurs are welcome!

In many instances, “blended” courses allow busy folks to complete the text-based portion of the course online at their own pace and convenience. Once you’ve passed the online course, a focused 3-4 hour hands-on skills workshop rounds out the training. Wondering what you’ll learn in a CPR or First Aid class? Read our post on the subject!

CPR Can Be Tiring

Performing CPR can be physically demanding. High-performing CPR requires 100-120 deep and steady compressions per minute, so head to the gym and start working on your upper body strength and cardio! Take AED.com CPR playlist with you, while you’re at it! Should you be called upon to perform CPR in an emergency, you may find yourself getting tired, so if possible switch off with another person every couple of minutes.

Hands-Only CPR is Effective

Hands-only CPR (also known as compression-only CPR) is CPR without rescue breaths. The American Heart Association has noted that “Hands-only CPR carried out by a bystander has been shown to be as effective as CPR with breaths in the first few minutes during an out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest for an adult victim.”

5 Things You Need to Know About AEDs:

What is an AED?

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a small, portable medical device. When its pads are attached to a person’s chest, the AED can analyze an individual’s heart rhythm and deliver a shock, if necessary, to restart his or her heart. Bystanders, as well as medical professionals, can use AEDs.

How Does an AED Work?

The device works by measuring an unresponsive person’s heart rhythm and delivering a shock to restart the heart or to shock the heart back into the correct rhythm. After analyzing the heart rhythm, automated voice instructions and text prompts tell the rescuer how to proceed. If defibrillation is necessary, the device will warn responders to stay clear of the victim while the shock is delivered. If CPR is indicated, the AED will instruct the rescuer to continue performing CPR.

When Do I Use an AED?

Sudden cardiac arrest can occur anytime, anywhere, and without warning. Call 911 and get the AED if someone becomes suddenly unresponsive, stops breathing, or does not respond when you tap or shake the shoulder firmly and ask, “Are you OK?”

Where Can I Find an AED?

Although laws for the placement of AEDs vary, many states require AEDs in public areas like gyms, schools, sports stadiums, and community centers. AEDs should be kept in a well-marked and publicly accessible location. If you don’t know where your office or workplace keeps the AED, find out! You never know when you might be called upon to use it.

If AEDs Are So Easy To Use, Why Do I Need Training?

Not only will training teach you how to respond quickly in the event of a cardiac emergency, but you’ll also learn how to activate the EMS system and act with confidence. Training also provides hands-on familiarity with an AED and teaches you how to avoid potentially dangerous situations.

For the full scoop on purchasing an AED, CPR and AED Training, and AED Compliance Management, download our free AED Starters Guide. Have questions? We’d love to chat! Call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. You can also email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.