Bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (BCPR) has a significant impact on survival rates when performed on cardiac arrest patients outside of the hospital. To be the most effective, however, BCPR needs to be administered quickly and include the following events: immediately recognizing cardiac arrest, calling 911, performing CPR focused on chest compressions, and defibrillation with an automated external defibrillator (AED). CPR keeps blood flowing to the major organs of the body, including the brain, and using and AED will restart the heart. These procedures need to be performed immediately after the patient collapses because the chances of survival decrease rapidly with each minute that passes.
BCPR can double or triple a cardiac arrest patient’s survival rate, but unfortunately, most bystanders do not perform BCPR, even when they’ve been trained in the procedure. Less than half of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients receive BCRP. OHCA is the most common cause of death in the US and is among the most time sensitive medical emergencies. (more…)