The song Stayin’ Alive may make you think of fun wedding receptions or younger days at the disco.  However, did you know that this all familiar song could help you save a life?

CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)  is vital in the treatment of someone who suffers a cardiac arrest.  A cardiac arrest is different from a heart attack.  Cardiac arrest is when the heart has a malfunction of its electrical system and switches into a rhythm that does not allow the heart to effectively pump oxygen-filled blood to the body.  Without oxygen, the body will die.  A heart attack is happens after a blockage in the blood vessels of the heart which cause part of the heart muscle to die.  While the two are not the same, a heart attack can lead to a cardiac arrest.

The most recent recommendations from American Heart is that CPR should focus on chest compressions.  In adults there is enough oxygen stored in the lungs for the first few minutes of CPR.  Only performing chest compressions keeps that oxygen circulating until emergency personnel can arrive.  The most important step toward survival is making sure the body and brain receive oxygen from circulating blood.  Chest compressions circulate blood.  The chest compressions need to be hard and fast.  Timing compressions to the beat of Stayin’ Alive will help you to pump the heart fast enough to circulate oxygen rich blood.

Everyone should get basic training in CPR.  It has been proven that when someone experiences cardiac arrest, getting early or immediate CPR and significantly increase their chance of survival.  According to the American Heart Association, in 2016 only about 46.1% of 350,000 people who suffered cardiac arrest received CPR from someone close by.  Only about 19,152 people of that 46% survived.  Here are  reasons that you should learn CPR:

  • 70% of cardiac arrests happen in the home.  Chances are your skills will be used on someone close to you.
  • Immediate or early CPR can double or possible triple a person’s chance for survival.
  • Real life CPR is not like on TV.  Often the person will be unconscious the entire time.  Even when emergency responders arrive, they will likely have to provide advanced cardiac treatment.  Understanding how physically demanding CPR really is will help you prepare for and emergency.
  • Approximately 1.4 million adults in the United States have a heart defect and 27.6 million with heart disease.  Both are risk factors for cardiac arrest.
  • Brain death due to lack of oxygen happens in the first 4-6 minutes of a cardiac arrest.  Immediately providing CPR keeps oxygen flowing and increases the chance of survival.
  • If you experienced a cardiac arrest, would you want people standing around not doing anything because they didn’t know CPR??

Have you had an experience with CPR?  Are you a survivor?  Have you performed out-of-hospital CPR?  I would love to hear your story.  Please comment below.  Love your heart and the heart of others.  Please sign up for a CPR class today by visiting the American Heart Association.