Every year 424,000 people in the United States experience out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, according to a recent report from the American Heart Association. That’s 424,000 Americans whose hearts suddenly stop working without a hospital or doctor in sight.
For every minute a person experiencing a heart attack is left unattended, statistics say there is a 10 percent decrease in their chance of survival.
During medical emergencies, including cardiac arrests, there is a simple technique more effective than any of the drugs found in a crash cart. It can be performed by anyone, at any time and simply requires a trained observer to recognize the signs of cardiac arrest and take action. This technique is cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, commonly known as CPR.
Bystander initiated CPR is effective – one life is saved for every 25 to 36 people who have received it.
A recent article published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that specific areas of Houston have a high rate of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, where no one is trained in CPR.
The study identified geographic areas in the Bayou City, where there is a high rate of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and low rates of CPR training paired with a demographic of people considered to be at high-risk for cardiac arrest.
“There is clearly a difference in the rate of bystander CPR occurring in the neighborhoods that have the highest amount of cardiac arrest events,” said Dr. David Persse, director of the City of Houston Emergency Medical Services, professor of Emergency Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and co-author of the study.
CPR only works if someone performs it. Unfortunately, not everyone is trained or is comfortable enough in their skills to take action.
Baylor College of Medicine’s Emergency Medicine Interest Group, a student group, is taking action to change this trend by hosting the Baylor College of Medicine MassCPR event. The event aims to increase the number of people trained in CPR in Houston by providing it free of charge.
On Saturday, March 1, our group aims to train at least 250 people in hands-only CPR. With this knowledge, more people in our community will be trained to handle a life-threatening medical emergency. Better still, they will also be equipped to spread this knowledge to their friends and family.
These one-hour long classes will be held at 10 a.m. and noon at the following locations:
- Magnolia Multi-Service Center: 7307 Capitol St., Houston, TX 77011
- Denver Harbor Multi-Service Center: 6402 Market St., Houston, TX 77020
- Kashmere Gardens Multi-Service Center: 4802 Lockwood Drive, Houston, TX 77026
- Third Ward Multi-Service Center: 3611 Ennis St., Houston, TX 77004
- Fifth Ward Multi-Service Center: 4014 Market St., Houston, TX 77020
Email email@example.com or call 713-364-4662 for more information or to RSVP to reserve your spot. Each class has a maximum capacity of 60, we will also accept walk-ins if there is room available.
-Vidya Eswaran, second-year medical student