Many people have seen the signs and heard the slogan: “CPR Can Save Lives” But just how effective is Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, also called CPR? What are the side effects? And, if someone is lucky enough to survive a cardiac arrest and is resuscitated, what does that mean for that person’s long term health?
Let’s look at some numbers. According to the most recent statistics provided by the American Heart Association, 88% of cardiac arrests happen at home, where there are no doctors or nurses, which is why it is so vitally important that everyone be skilled in providing CPR. The average bystander that is skilled in CPR can triple the chance that a victim survives a cardiac arrest, however the chances of receiving CPR from a non-professional in an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest situation is only approximately 32%. Furthermore, of those victims that receive CPR outside of a hospital, less than 8% survive. According to the National Institute of Health, in a hospital setting, approximately 15% of patients are resuscitated and survive to discharge, a number that has remained relatively stable over the past three decades.