CPR Turning 50 This Month: Are You Trained?

By: Alex Goldsmith Email
By: Alex Goldsmith Email

During a sudden heart attack, every second counts.

"Every minute that goes by the chances of survival decrease 10 percent," said Tracy Panich with the Mid-Michigan Chapter of the American Red Cross.

The need for quick treatment makes it that much more critical for bystanders to learn CPR. The Red Cross trains a quarter of a million people per year in the life-saving technique in Michigan alone.

"Effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest, can double or triple a victim's chance of survival," said Stacy Sawyer with the American Heart Association.

But Sawyer says less than a third of sudden cardiac arrest victims received CPR from bystanders. That's why taking a simple class can help save lives.

"It's easy," said Brittany Dooley, an MSU student taking the class. "A lot of the stuff is common sense."

"It's really easy to learn because it's common sense stuff," said Nick Sanders, who was learning CPR for work. "If an emergency does arise I won't be afraid to step up."

Panich says even those without training can still help.

"Doing something is better than doing nothing at all," said Panich. "If you have just a little bit of training, a little bit of skill and a little bit of knowledge, you can help save lives."

The American Heart Association says the ideal rhythm for CPR is 100 beats per minute. Some songs to help keep the beat include "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen, "Stayin' Alive" by the Beegees or "Dancing Queen" by ABBA.

To find classes offered in the area, go to heart.org/cpr.

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