"The latest American Heart Association guidelines, highlight how quick action, proper training, use of technology and coordinated efforts can increase survival from cardiac arrest. A leading cause of death in the United States, cardiac arrest is caused when the heart suddenly stops, usually due to an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat and disrupts blood flow through the body. Survival depends on immediate CPR and other actions starting with bystanders.
More than 326,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital each year and about 90 percent of them die, often because bystanders don’t know how to start CPR or are afraid they’ll do something wrong. The 2015 guidelines say high-quality CPR training for both bystanders and healthcare providers will help them feel more confident to act and provide better CPR to cardiac arrest victims. This guidelines update, which is intended to evolve CPR training, also recommends that all bystanders should act quickly and use mobile phones to alert dispatchers, with the ultimate goal of having immediate CPR given to all victims of cardiac arrest."
Dr. Tracy A. Jones is an American Heart Association, ASHI, and American Red Cross Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.