According to the American Heart Association, Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is responsible for 330,000 out-of-hospital and emergency department deaths in the US each year. Many victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) demonstrate ventricular fibrillation (VF) at some point in their arrest. Treatment of VF requires CPR and shock delivery with a defibrillator. High-quality bystander CPR can double or triple survival rates from cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, fewer than one-third of victims of SCA receive bystander CPR.
The relationship between CPR and defibrillation has never been more clear. CPR maintains vital blood flow to the brain and heart until defibrillation can occur. CPR, in effect, "primes" the heart muscle, making it more susceptible to defibrillation.
The American Heart Association has partnered with Laerdal Medical Corporation to create a self-directed learning program on CPR and AED, called CPR Anytime®
In addition, Hands-Only CPRTM
is a lifesaving option to be used by people not trained in conventional CPR or those who are unsure of their ability to give the combination of chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breathing it requires. By using Hands-Only CPRTM
, bystanders can still act to improve the odds of survival, trained in conventional CPR or not.