The Value of Amateur CPR
I was among a number of pax who attended last week’s “CPR and a Bar” event organized by Raider and Mickey Thomas. It was a brief one-hour overview of the most basic type of chest-compression CPR and was very much a prelude to a more in-depth training session that would require a half- to whole-day commitment to get full CPR certification.
That being said, the value of what we learned last Thursday has been reinforced in a couple of ways. One was by the appearance of Charles Upchurch — an Elizabeth neighbor, fellow Cub Scout dad and longtime acquaintance of mine — at last week’s event. Charles was struck by lightning while on a camping trip with one of his sons earlier this year; his life was saved by the fact that another dad on the trip knew CPR and administered it. Charles was kind enough to drop by the event and share his story with the pax.
Further support came from this article that I encountered on the web earlier this week. It explores why the rate of survival for out-of-the-hospital cardiac arrests suffered in Seattle is nearly five times the survival rate in the rest of the nation. It turns out that 75% of the population in King County is trained in CPR. That, combined with what the article calls “an aggressive dispatcher-assisted CPR program,” gives heart attack victims there a leg up on survival.
As Raider pointed out when I shared the article with him and Mickey Thomas, this is the money quote — particularly for those of us who went through the bare bones training last week:
“Any bystander CPR, not even good-quality bystander CPR, more than doubles and in some studies triples survival from cardiac arrest,” said Dr. Ben Bobrow, medical director for the state of Arizona. “The question is how to get more people to do bystander CPR.”
Many of us who attended last week’s session are now motivated to do a full training course so that we really know what we’re doing. And for everyone who wasn’t able to make it last week, I strongly encourage you to attend the next edition of “CPR and a Bar.”