Get trained to save a life with CPR

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Imagine the unthinkable happens. Someone in your family, a close friend, or even a total stranger, has just collapsed in your presence. The person does not appear to be breathing, and people all around you are beginning to panic. Everyone seems to be looking to the person next to them to do something. Isn’t someone going to help? Or even worse, you may be the only person present. Would you know what to do?

We all pray that it never happens to us. It is everyone’s nightmare. You can make a difference and Natchez Regional is here to help.

Statistics tell us that 80 percent of cardiac arrests occur at home and are witnessed by a family member. Sudden cardiac arrest is most often caused by an abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation or VF. Cardiac arrest can also occur after the onset of a heart attack or as a result of electrocution or near-drowning.

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When sudden cardiac arrest occurs, the victim collapses, becomes unresponsive to gentle shaking, stops normal breathing and after two rescue breaths, still isn’t breathing normally, coughing or moving. About 900 Americans die every day due to sudden cardiac arrest.

Currently, the survival rate of sudden cardiac arrest victims before reaching the hospital is less than five percent. Knowing CPR can double a victim’s chance of survival by maintaining vital blood flow to the heart and brain until more advanced care is available.

I am sure that at some point in time it has crossed your mind that CPR is something that you might need to know. You have most likely even discussed it with some of your family or friends, thinking that someday soon you might take a class.

Well there is no time like the present. Don’t put off learning this vital skill a minute longer.

Natchez Regional Medical Center provides CPR classes for all people, not just the medically trained, and you can make your opportunity happen with a simple phone call.

CPR classes are approximately three hours in length and cover CPR for adults and children. You will also gain knowledge and instruction on how to operate an Automatic External Defibrillator or AED.

AEDs are becoming increasingly more available in public places, including churches, airports and shopping malls. Participants in the CPR classes practice with manikins and a test will be given at the conclusion of each class. Upon completion of the course, the participant will have the skills and knowledge necessary to perform CPR should the need arise.

This class is the perfect answer for parents, grandparents, day care workers, restaurant staff and anyone who works in the public and has a desire to learn this lifesaving technique.

Heartsaver CPR class is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. April 8. Please call 601-443-2442 to reserve your spot in this class. The cost of the class is $50 per person. This includes your certification card, which is valid for two years.

Prompt effective CPR can make the difference between life and death. Let us help you be ready if the need arises in your life.

Patricia H. Marks, RN, is the education coordinator and Natchez Regional Medical Center.