Keeping the Beat, “Staying Alive”
The use of CPR dates all the way back to 1740, yet most Americans today don’t know how to perform it. Since February is National Hearth Month, I’d like to take this opportunity to provide a few facts that could save your life or the life of a loved one.
Cardiac mayhem can strike us at any age, from infant to elderly. More than 300,000 Americans die each year as a result of sudden cardiac arrest. That’s why it’s so important to develop a deeper understanding of heart disease and prevention. It’s also why I’m joining the American Heart Association, advocating early recognition of signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke. In addition, I want to share with you the importance of doing Hands-Only CPR.
Early CPR can help lower the number of deaths from sudden cardiac arrest. Have courage and help save a life! Learn CPR. With the American Heart Association as a guide, there are many organizations that help implement CPR training programs in our local communities. One such organization is the Minnesota Resuscitation Consortium, which does an amazing job promoting hands-only CPR in the event you witness someone who does not respond to you.
This 11-ounce muscle that beats seamlessly in our mid chest, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is nothing short of a miracle. The constant rhythm of our carefully choreographed electrical and mechanical mechanisms produce the “thump-thump” the average adults feels and hears, pumping an incredible 2,000 gallons of nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels every day. Science reveals that it works on a delicate balance of two major electrolytes, sodium and potassium, along with other nutrients.
Your heart moves blood to the brain, carrying essential life sustaining nutrients, like oxygen and glucose. When the heart suddenly stops as a result of a heart attack, the brain starves and cells in the brain and body start to die. This is the point when you need to act. Your early actions could make the difference between life and death. Without your help, someone will mostly likely die. With your help, they have a fighting chance.
If you live in a rural area, I suggest you actually purchase an automatic external defibrillator (AED). You’re most likely a long ways from an ambulance – and winter roads will require extra time to reach you. As a paramedic in a rural area, I’ve been on calls where it’s taken almost 30 minutes to reach a farm due to winter driving conditions. This is a good example of when a defibrillator can pay by increasing a person’s chance of surviving until ambulance arrives.
Plan ahead, so you will have the resources to help if you ever see anyone go unconscious. Remember, this could help someone see another sunset, experience another hug, or go on another loving Valentine’s Day date.
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