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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Do the math...

Would you do something where it was well documented that one out of every eight people who do it die? Of course not.

Now picture your family members, friends, and acquaintances in an auditorium. Picture what that crowd looks like - your family and close friends are closest to the podium on the stage where you are standing. You look at each one, one at a time. Behind them are all the people you see on a regular basis - neighbors, co-workers, etc. Would you do something that had a one in eight chance of killing one of them? Before you say "Of course not," read on.

Each of us has a one-in-seven chance of witnessing a sudden cardiac arrest in our lifetime, and when we do, there is an 85% chance that the victim will be a family member, a friend, or an acquaintance. If all you do is call 911, that victim will have a 95% (or greater) chance of either dying or winding up in a care facility with terrible neurological deficits. But if you call 911 and then begin immediate chest compressions, the victim has a far higher chance of surviving, particularly if defibrillation can be performed within minutes.

That means you will have a one-in-eight chance of having to use your CPR skills "for real" and that those skills might make the difference in the life of those people in the auditorium.

What? You don't know how to perform Bystander CPR? Well, then you have two choices: you can take a CPR class or you can march back into that auditorium, get up on that stage, look them each in the eye and say, "There is a one-in-eight chance that I will watch one of you die or suffer terrible neurological damage from a sudden cardiac arrest someday. I'm sorry, but I don't have the time to take a one-hour Bystander CPR course, so your odds of surviving that arrest are about one-in-twenty. I could improve those odds a lot, but I just don't have the time.

Not knowing CPR puts you in the unfortunate circumstance of having a one-in-eight chance of watching someone die or become terribly disabled.

Please get trained.