How to save a life: The importance of CPR

Issue: 
June 2012

Local cardiologist and community leader Willie Lawrence, MD, saves lives each and every day. Named the American Heart Association’s 2011 Physician of the Year, Lawrence works tirelessly to advocate and fulfill the association’s mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
 
Lawrence also is an expert at performing CPR, but he says you don’t have to be a physician to know how to save a life.
 
“It’s a simple technique that everyone should know,” Lawrence says.  
 
Earlier this year, while attending the “White House Community Leaders Briefing on Cardiovascular Health” in Washington, Lawrence found himself saving a life outside hospital walls for the first time. The night before the briefing, he was at dinner when he overheard a commotion at another table in the restaurant. Lawrence turned to see a woman in her 60s slumped over in her chair. Recognizing that she was unconscious and in trouble, he quickly went over and found her pulseless and unresponsive.
 
Lawrence immediately began performing “hands-only” CPR while someone else called 911. As he began CPR, he called out for an automated external defibrillator, or AED. Unfortunately, no one in the restaurant knew if they had one and, if so, where it was located. He continued performing the hands-only technique and, miraculously, the woman regained a pulse and became responsive and alert.
 
“Saving someone’s life in this situation is what I’d call a random act of kindness — we do this so much in the hospital, on people we don’t know,” Lawrence says. “What’s important for family members and friends to realize is that I did something — hands-only CPR — that’s really pretty simple. No one else at this woman’s table knew CPR and that was a potential tragedy in the making.”
 
CPR dates back to 1740, yet even today, most Americans don’t know how to perform it. Given properly and immediately to sudden cardiac arrest victims, CPR can save lives; however, 70 percent of Americans may feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they don’t know how to administer CPR or their training has lapsed. This statistic could hit close to home, which is where 80 percent of cardiac arrests occur. 
 
This June, in honor of National CPR Week, which is June 1-7, the American Heart Association is calling on all Americans to learn how to give hands-only CPR by watching a one-minute video at handsonlycpr.com. Once you have learned CPR, give five people you care about the power to save lives by equipping them to act quickly in a crisis.
 
And don’t be afraid; your actions can only help. If you see an unresponsive adult who is not breathing or not breathing normally, call 911, and push hard and fast on the center of the chest.  
 
You also can download a free app for your phone to walk you through the simple steps of performing CPR.
 
The American Heart Association still recommends CPR with compressions and breaths for infants and children, and victims of drowning and drug overdose, or people who collapse due to breathing problems.
 
Story contributed by the Kansas City Chapter of the American Heart Association

Comments

crazysony's picture
CPR

Thank you for providing this great and useful post!Those who are administering healthcare system should think in providing specialized CPR devices in every hospital in order to help doctors to do their job and to save people.I am glad to see that nowadays there are a lot of schools that are having CPR classes in their curricula as it is very useful.

crazysony's picture

CPR and colon cleanse are the most important procedures that a doctor should know how to apply on a patient suffering of acute intoxication with harmful substances.

morisgrace's picture

As a nurse leader I am aware of how important is to have a CPR accreditation in order to help people by saving their lives.Every doctor should know how to do a CPR as it is a basic procedure and it is not very difficult to do it.

george15's picture

Good Post..

morisgrace's picture
CPR

I've graduated medicine and I always wanted to work in acute care.This is why after graduation I had to take a CPR course in order work as an intern in acute care.I like it a lot and I consider it to be very interesting.

He is quite right we need to learn these techniques so that we could really save lives. However, for a better health it is essential to have access to better health care service. Here in Phoenix we have a great free clinic Phoenix that offers excellent care for women.

crazysony's picture
CPR

CPR is a very important technique that helps us to save people from death.Every hospital have a professional emergency items kit and both nurses and doctors should know how to use it.

crazysony's picture

I appreciate a lot the quality post that you provide here.I am working for years at the Kovak Laser Institute and I had some cases in which people suffered a heart attack and I had to make CPR.This is a very important technique.

He has been doing an incredible job no doubt about that, people should be more aware of such basic facts so that they could save lives. We could avoid many health problems if we just stay aware. There are plenty of websites on health, if you follow such a website you would be able to find all necessary advice and suggestions.

crazysony's picture

I appreciate this quality content. There are good doctors in United States who do their job very well but unfortunately there are some deficits in the healthcare system that have to be fixed. The health care coverage costs are too increased and many people don't have access to the medical system because of that.

I was surfing net and fortunately came across this site and found very interesting stuff here. Its really fun to read. I enjoyed a lot. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information.
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morisgrace's picture

I am working for years in the outsourcing imaging diagnostics field and I consider that doctors should have as many skills as possible in order to save people's lives.

You have a good point here!I totally agree with what you have said!!Thanks for sharing your views...hope more people will read this article!!!
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roger1122's picture

Thank you very much for writing such an interesting article on this topic. This has really made me think and I hope to read more.
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zane1122's picture

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roger1122's picture

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Thanks for posting this great post by which we can save someones life. By these steps of pumping the heart might be helping to re continue the blood pumping.
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Joecy Parker's picture
CPR

It is very important to learn and know about “hands-only” CPR.This can save someone's life.I think every individual should be aware of CPR Technique.Thank you for the video link.
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