CPR is an abbreviation for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is a procedure in which you’re using physical stimulation in order to revive a heart that has just stopped working. Through coordinated chest compression, the blood gets pumped back into the heart and the delivery of oxygen to the brain resumes.
Other than stimulating the heart to work again, CPR is also known to prolong the potential time of response for the paramedics rushing to the site of the scene. In other words, you knowing how to administer CPR and you not knowing how to do so can make the difference between life and death. It can also prevent permanent damage to one’s brain.
While the reasons why this is so important should be more than obvious, here are the top five reasons why you should definitely learn CPR.
1. It is incredibly Common
Every year, as many as 475,000 people in the US die from cardiac arrest. With the proper knowledge of CPR, a person providing first aid would have a higher chance of getting the most out of that situation. Sure, there are some scenarios in which there’s simply nothing you can do. However, you can never know if you don’t try.
Some statistics claim that roughly 13 for every 10,000 people are likely to experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting. That is roughly 320,000 cardiac arrests annually. In that scenario, their lives are in the hands of people in their immediate vicinity.
The reason why we are so obsessed with numbers is in order to show you just how likely you are to find yourself in one such situation.
2. Quadrupling odds of Survival
No medical treatment, procedure, or first aid act can guarantee one’s survival. However, CPR can quadruple one’s odds of survival. As we’ve mentioned in the introduction, you can buy time until the paramedics arrive, which is one of the main bottlenecks, deciding who lives and who dies in these situations.
A person with a CPR certification is more likely to succeed at this than the person who just knows how to do CPR (or has some vague idea of how this works). That means a person with proper training and a certificate has an even greater chance to save one’s life. Even without any other entry on this list, this should be a reason enough.
Just remember that there’s only so much you can do. You’re not treating them; you’re trying to preserve their life until the professionals arrive at the scene.
3. Minutes Count
Previously, we’ve discussed the importance of buying time during cardiac arrest. Well, how important are these minutes actually? Let’s check out the timeline in order to figure this one out!
If you’re to be completely effective, you need to start doing the CPR within the first two minutes after cardiac arrest. After three minutes without oxygen to the brain, the brain injury will become progressively worse. If you wait 9 minutes, the damage is most likely to be irreversible. Finally, after 10 minutes, death is most likely.
Keep in mind that even if you do manage to resuscitate the person, if they’re without oxygen for 8 to 10 minutes, they will most likely be comatose.
4. It really doesn’t take Long
Now that you know what’s on the line, it’s also important to mention one thing – standard CPR training takes two or three hours. In other words, you can save one’s life or quality of life by sacrificing a couple of hours of your time (just once).
So, why is getting a certificate necessary? It’s enough to just learn how to do it, right? Well, while this is technically correct, how will you know if you’ve really mastered something if there’s no one skilled and impartial to evaluate your knowledge.
Also, getting a certificate may seriously impact your self-confidence. Can you perform CPR accurately? Have you ever done it in front of a professional or have you just watched someone else do it/try it on your own? If the latter is the case, chances are that you won’t be sure until it’s too late for second thoughts.
5. It may be Someone Close
Previously, we’ve discussed a scenario in which you’re a passerby in an accident where your CPR skill is needed. However, it is just as likely that the affected person will be someone you love or care about. In that scenario, there’s plenty of intrinsic motivation to go around.
Keep in mind that the likelihood of this is never zero. Sure, leading a healthy life, eating well, and practising yoga can drastically prolong your life and improve your cardiovascular resilience. The key thing is that while this keeps the risk of cardiac arrest low, it can happen to anyone at any minute.
Knowing this horrible truth and being aware that you can’t really prevent it can be quite disheartening but, at the same time, knowing that you’re ready for that eventuality may boost your self-confidence. Remember that there’s nothing worse than watching helplessly while someone you love is struggling to survive. By learning more about first aid, and CPR in particular, could make a significant difference.
In the end, learning a skill, any skill should be worth your while. Now, in a scenario where the skill in question can help you save a life, a life of someone you love, or a life of someone who would die if not for your immediate assistance, this is even more relevant. Add to this the fact that it takes only 2-3 hours to learn the skill and earn a certificate and what you’ll get is a no-brainer.
In a situation where every minute counts, you can be the one making all the difference. It’s not about being a hero, it’s about doing what you’re supposed to do as a human being. It’s about owning up to your own responsibility and becoming more than just a passive observer. Needless to say, this is also incredible for your own self-esteem.