The American Heart Association formally endorsed CPR in 1963 and since then has developed various educational courses designed to train everyone in basic life support skills. The AHA knows that if someone suffers a cardiac arrest while not in hospital or a medical center they have a poor chance of surviving. Yet it is not just health care providers that can save lives.
Starting chest compressions and rescue breaths i.e. delivering CPR as soon as possible after someone suffers a cardiac arrest could save that person’s life. The AHA together with the American Red Cross knows that you do not need any prior medical knowledge. Through the training programs these organizations run they have encountered children as young as nine giving CPR correctly.
The AHA delivers classes in cardiac resuscitation either via their online CPR training or by organizing sessions in schools, the workplace or in community centers. They help train medical emergency teams throughout the US. The standard of CPR training delivered to healthcare providers is obviously going to be at a higher level than that provided to the general public but the heart association knows that the more people who learn basic life support, the more people will survive a cardiac arrest.
The studies show that you have less than 5 minutes following a cardiac arrest to intervene successfully. While the emergency services are fantastic they are usually more than 5 minutes away so it falls to a member of the public to administer first aid. Increasing survival rates and reducing the number of fatalities caused by cardiac arrest is at the heart of the American Heart Association CPR education program. Not only do they want to deliver more CPR training to the public but they also want a national system of well organized access to defibrillators.
They are constantly reviewing the level of training provided and will change the CPR guidelines when necessary. For example lay personnel are no longer taught to do rescue breathing without chest compressions. Healthcare providers will continue to be taught this skill but will only use it in certain medical cases. Compression ventilation ratio is also reviewed and amended when necessary. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is not an exact science not least as there can be a number of different causes for example shock, drowning, auto accident etc.
The medical emergency teams are trained in various procedures and rely on their medical knowledge to determine which one best suit the victim. Lay rescuers do not have this medical training so cannot be expected to make decisions other than to undertake CPR training and be ready to help someone in a medical emergency.
The actual methodology of delivering CPR doesn’t really differ from one organization to the other. If you are looking into doing American Heart Association CPR training online or at your local center make sure that the course and CPR instructor is accredited by either of these organizations. You will not be wasting your money or time on useless certification. The American Heart Association doesn’t just give online CPR training. They are also heavily involved in ACLS certification which is a more advanced form of first aid training involving the use of AEDs etc. The statistics show that although CPR saves lives, it is much more efficient when combined with automatic defibrillators. You require more thorough training to use an AED device as you can cause real harm if you apply it incorrectly.
In addition to the well known American Heart Association CPR training the organization is committed to improving the health of Americans hearts via a process of education through their website and classes. They run various high profile events and get celebrities including Jennie Garth, herself a victim of heart disease, involved to highlight their cause. They have a program designed especially for high risk groups such as women.
Women are the least likely to seek medical help if they feel unwell. They tend to be looking after their families or careers often at the expense of their health. They are also the people who generally look after the children and prepare meals etc.
Studies show that heart disease generally starts in childhood not only via a genetic link but also as a direct result of early diets. High cholesterol in childhood can lead to cardiac arrest victims in adulthood. The American Heart Association CPR team has developed a whole educational program aimed at this group which helps to guide people on what to eat, how to prepare food and what to include in their grocery shopping.