Sudden cardiac arrest claims the lives of more than 200,000 people in the U.S. every year. As many as twelve children between the ages of four and 19 are injured every minute.
These staggering statistics point out why everyone should be trained in first aid, CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). Knowing what to do can prepare you to respond to life-threatening emergencies.
The Riffle family of North Carolina knows firsthand the importance of CPR training. Two-year-old Harper Riffle and his 4-year-old twin sisters were playing happily on their swing set in their backyard when the unthinkable happened.
Somehow, Harper got a rope wrapped around his neck. Harper’s mother, Rebecca, found him with his face blue. She performed CPR on Harper, and by the times paramedics arrived, Harper was breathing on his own. He spent the night in the hospital but was back on the swing set in no time.
Rebecca said she used the CPR skills she learned years ago to save her son’s life. Although she calls her skills rusty, “they worked,” she said. “I’m definitely going to get recertified in CPR,” she added.
Recently, the American Red Cross of Orange County (Calif.) trained and certified thousands of people on their “Super CPR Day.” This was the seventh annual event for the Red Cross chapter, and participant levels were higher than ever.
As Chris Marusin, one of the participants, told the Orange County Register, “It's learning to be a super hero. It's a great program and I'm glad they do it every year."
To get trained in first aid and CPR/AED, or to learn about other courses the Red Cross offers, go to redcross.org and find your local chapter. You can also visit the Red Cross store to check out products like First Aid and CPR for Everyone: An Introduction to Basic Lifesaving Skills.