The window between a cardiac emergency and death is very small. However, there is one skill that greatly increases the chances of survival.
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According to emergency medical technicians at the SUNY Oswego Student Association Volunteer Ambulance Corps, CPR is one of the most important skills a person should learn. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is an emergency procedure to keep blood flowing to the brain. EMTs say that having a person on the scene to perform CPR can keep a person alive, long enough for medical services to arrive.
“The more people that know CPR the better, that just increases the likelihood of someone being there in an emergency,” SAVAC EMT Dylan Charland said.
CPR classes are teaching hands only CPR. This is an important skill for the general public to know and also avoids having to perform mouth to mouth. Hands only CPR involves immediately starting chest compressions.
“The key with saving a life with CPR is starting compressions as early as possible,” Charland said.
The importance of CPR is making its way into school curriculum. High schools and middle schools across the country are incorporating CPR courses. SAVAC EMT Rob Chmiel thinks this is an important step in educating the public about CPR.
“I would say that I would get CPR education to as many people as humanly possible,” Chmiel said.
The American Heart Association’s website provides links to read about CPR and video tutorials on what to do in case of an emergency.