The knowledge that CPR helps save lives certainly isn’t new, but a study presented in November at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions sought to explore just how long and to what degree CPR could help cardiac arrest patients. Since the majority of cardiac arrests—around 80%—occur outside of the hospital, the significance of lifesaving techniques is of particular interest.
This study, completed by the Department of Cardiology, CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care at Surugadai Nihon University Hospital in Tokyo, examined data collected from non-hospital cardiac arrests in Japan happening between 2005 and 2011. The researchers compared the survivors’ brain function with how much time passed between their initial collapse and the return of normal blood flow.
Their findings showed that sustaining CPR for more than 38 minutes not only increased the chances of survival for a cardiac arrest victim, but also led to a greater chance of retaining normal brain function. For every minute that passes between the initial collapse and the return to normal blood flow, a patient’s chances of surviving with regular brain function drops by five percent.
So, what can you do to be more prepared in case you’re in a situation where performing CPR is necessary? Visit the American Heart Association website to find a CPR and First Aid class near you to become certified. Bear in mind that even if you’ve been certified in the past, standards are constantly being updated, so it might be time for a refresher course. In the meantime, check out this video from the AHA on Hands Only CPR to brush up on your life saving skills in just a few minutes.
Are you CPR certified? When was the last time you took a course? Have you ever had to administer life saving techniques in an emergency? Share your experiences in the comments section below to bring awareness to this important skill.