SPRINGFIELD The American Heart Association (AHA) wants to save more lives by training one million people in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in honor of National CPR & AED Awareness Week, June 1 through 7. The Annual CPR/AED week is a reminder to all Americans to be trained and prepared. An estimated 785,000 Americans will have a new coronary attack and 470,000 will have a recurrent attack. Only 31 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests receive bystander CPR.
The AHA's Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) Programs educate healthcare providers, caregivers and the general public about how to respond to cardiac emergencies. Anyone can be trained in CPR and training has never been easier. The AHA offers several ways for people to become certified, recertified or even learn at home:
Take a traditional course: A traditional course can be taken in a classroom setting with an instructor. (English and Spanish courses are available.) To find a local CPR course call 877-AHA-4CPR or visit www.cprweek.org;
Take an online course: Classes are offered online. Go to www.onlineaha.org for more information; or
Learn at home: CPR Anytime kits are self-directed personal learning programs you can use at home. The kit teaches CPR in 22 minutes (adult and infant CPR kits are available). Kits come with a self-paced instructional DVD and is available in English and Spanish. To purchase a kit or for more information go to www.americanheart.org.
The mission of ECC is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke by improving the Chain of Survival in every community. To track its progress, the ECC has launched a Web site where those trained or retrained around the country can be counted in real-time. There is also an option to make a donation to raise funds to continue to train people in CPR. To be counted, find a CPR course or to make a donation, visit www.cprweek.org.
Sudden cardiac arrest is the abrupt loss of heart function in a person who may or may not have diagnosed heart disease. The time and mode of death are unexpected. It occurs instantly or shortly after symptoms appear. Each year about 295,000 emergency medical services-treated out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States.
CPR can mean the difference between life and death for a loved one. Approximately 80 percent of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in private residential settings and when effective bystander CPR is provided immediately after cardiac arrest, it can double a victim's chance of survival. 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.
For more information about heart-healthy living, visit www.americanheart.org or call 877-AHA-USA1.
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