Summer has arrived in New Jersey! As we gear up to spend time by the Jersey Shore or a local pool, the American Heart Association encourages families to be prepared for summer safety by learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR.
Accidents, choking and drowning are leading causes of death in children. Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Of these, two of the ten are children aged 14 or younger. Learning CPR can help save lives in cases of drowning.
CPR is also vital when sudden cardiac arrest – a leading cause of death in America – strikes without warning. Nearly 350,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests occur annually, and 90 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrests outside a hospital die. But CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.
The American Heart Association recommends Hands-Only CPR when you witness an adult or teen suddenly collapse. Hands-Only CPR teaches basic steps: First, call 9-1-1 and then push hard and fast on the center of the chest until professional help or an AED arrives. By using Hands-Only CPR, bystanders can still act to improve the odds of survival, whether they are trained in conventional CPR or not. The American Heart Association encourages everyone to view a one-minute Hands-Only CPR video at www.heart.org/handsonlycpr.
Brett Sealove, MD, FACC, RPVI
American Heart Association and American Stroke Association South-Central NJ Board of Directors
Cardiologist and Partner, Monmouth Cardiology Associates