Approximately 310,000 Americans die every year due to coronary heart disease, most often attributed to a sudden cardiac arrest suffered outside the hospital setting or in the emergency department. Nearly 80 percent of these arrests occur at home, so after you call 911, you can provide life-saving care to a family member or friend while waiting for help. This critical, life-saving skill – cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) – is one that the American Heart Association wants many more Americans to be ready to perform when necessary.
Although it may not be something we want to think about, sobering statistics compel us to act:
-Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double a victim’s chance of survival.
-Infant CPR can be effective for infants who suffer cardiac arrest or whose airways become blocked by food or other objects.
-Approximately 94 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital.
-Death from sudden cardiac arrest is not inevitable. If more people knew CPR, more lives could be saved.
Special Care for Infants
Grandparents, parents and others who care for children need to know how to perform the relatively simple skills of infant CPR and relief from choking, which can make a life or death difference for infants.
The risk of choking for infants, whose airways can become blocked by food or other objects, is a critical concern for caregivers like grandparents and others. According to the Home Safety Council:
-Unintentional choking and suffocation are the leading cause of all injury deaths for infants under one and the eighth leading cause of injury deaths for all ages.
-More than 36,000 obstructed airway injuries result in emergency room visits.
-Sixty percent of nonfatal choking episodes treated in emergency departments are associated with food items; 31 percent with nonfood objects including coins.
-Candy is associated with 19 percent of choking-related emergency room visits by children under age 15; 65 percent are from hard candy; and 12.5 percent are from other specified types such as chocolates and gummy candies.
“Because the home is the most likely place for an infant to choke or to suffer cardiac arrest, parents and caretakers are among the most important people to be trained in infant CPR and the relief of choking,” said Monica Kleinman, MD, Children’s Hospital Boston.
Help Yourself Help Loved Ones
Recognizing that far too many Americans are not prepared to do CPR when it’s needed, the American Heart Association created a simple, accessible way for people to learn CPR at home in less than 25 minutes:
-The Family & Friends CPR Anytime kit includes everything needed for self-directed CPR training: a manikin, DVD and resource booklet.
-The CPR home training can be used in the convenience of the living room or family room.
-A single kit allows the whole family – parents, grandparents, siblings and other relatives or friends – to learn life-saving CPR.
“There are many excuses for not taking a life-saving CPR course. People don’t have enough time, they’re afraid of embarrassing themselves in the classroom, or they don’t think they’ll ever have to provide CPR,” said Robert E. O’Connor, MD, chairman, Emergency Cardiovascular Care committee for the American Heart Association. “Family & Friends CPR Anytime removes traditional training obstacles by providing a brief and convenient way to learn CPR. With CPR Anytime, millions more people trained can result in thousands more lives saved.”
Being prepared to act quickly when a family member – adult, child or infant – suffers from sudden cardiac arrest can make the difference between life and death.
Infant CPR Anytime: Precious Life-Saving at Home
New parents, expectant parents, grandparents and siblings now have a simple, convenient way to learn to perform infant CPR and to relieve choking in less than 25 minutes – the Infant CPR Anytime Personal Learning Program.
-The American Heart Association developed guidelines that were used as the basis of the infant kit.
-This new training program can be used to learn skills that could help save the life of an infant (newborn to 12 months).
-The kit includes a one-of-a-kind infant CPR manikin, a training DVD and two quick-reference skills reminders.
-The Mini Baby manikin is an inflatable version of a traditional infant CPR manikin. An instructional DVD walks users through each step of the training, from inflating the manikin, doing chest compressions and rescue breathing, to how to relieve choking in an infant.
Because the training materials are contained in an in-home kit, Infant CPR Anytime allows all family members to learn and brush up on skills periodically.
“Although it’s a skill no one wants to use, the more family members that know infant CPR the better,” said Monica Kleinman, MD, Children’s Hospital Boston. “This enables people to learn infant CPR who otherwise would not have that opportunity.”
CPR: All in the Family
Making CPR training a whole family affair just makes good sense. With so many grandparents actively involved in the care of their infant grandchildren, it’s important for them to be current on infant CPR training. Maintaining adult CPR skills are just as critical – to help each other or other family members or friends who experience sudden cardiac arrest.
“Infant CPR Anytime is an important and convenient way for all caretakers like grandparents to gain the peace of mind of knowing they’re prepared to help the infants who are part of their lives,” said Kleinman.
CPR training should be at the top of every family’s “must do” list. Performing effective CPR immediately after someone suffers cardiac arrest or choking saves lives.
Infant CPR Anytime and the Family & Friends CPR Anytime kits can be purchased by visiting www.shopcpranytime.org or calling 1-877-AHA-4CPR.