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CPR Training and You

Should you bother to be trained in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)?

Every year, nearly 383,000 out -of-hospital cardiac arrests occur – when the heart stops beating, 88 percent happen at home. About 92 percent of people who have a cardiac arrest die before they reach the hospital – but having someone who knows CPR nearby doubles or even triples their chances of surviving. Unfortunately, fewer than one in three people who have a heart attack outside of a hospital setting get CPR on the spot. If you know CPR, you could make the difference between life and death for a stranger or someone in your family.

Although many people are reluctant to learn or perform CPR because they fear giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, current recommendations from the American Heart Association (AHA) now state that starting chest compressions is the best way to begin saving a life. This is in contrast to previous recommendations that emphasized mouth-to-mouth. The AHA recommends about 100 chest compressions a minute – or about the pace of keeping the beat to the Bee Gees' song "Stayin' Alive."

And in case you think CPR is only a concern for older people, consider this: About 6,000 children and young adults have heart attacks every year. At the same time, studies show that kids as young as 9 years old can learn to perform CPR.

Be part of history

CPR dates back to the 1700s. In 1740, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation was officially recommended for drowning victims. In the following century, chest compressions were recognized as an effective response to heart attack. It wasn't until 1966 that the method of CPR used today in America was standardized and accepted.

Where to get CPR training

CPR training takes part or all of just one day, depending on the classes involved in the training session you select. You can get the training at many places, including:

  • Online through the AHA

  • Classes in your community, which you can find through the AHA, your local hospitals, and the American Red Cross

When to take a refresher course

Current AHA recommendations are to renew CPR training every two years. But studies show that most people retain their CPR skills for just about a year. At that point, unless you use CPR often, you should go through another class to keep your skills fresh. 

If your friend or loved one went into cardiac arrest would you know how to perform life-saving CPR? Family & Friends CPR Anytime™ is a program that teaches the core skills needed to administer CPR to adults and infants.

Family & Friends CPR Anytime will teach you and your family what you should do if an adult goes into sudden cardiac arrest. The skills can be learned anywhere using the Family and Friends CPR Anytime™ kit, the kit contains everything needed to learn basic CPR, and is a great way for the entire family to learn CPR at home. This kit does not provide certification in CPR.

Each Family & Friends CPR Anytime™ kit contains:
• A personal, inflatable CPR manikin — “Mini Anne”
• CPR Anytime™ skills practice DVD
• An American Heart Association CPR for Family and Friends Booklet
• Accessories for the program
The Infant CPR Anytime™ program is a self-directed learning program teaching families, friends, and others who care for infants the core skills of infant CPR and relief of choking.

Each Infant CPR Anytime™ kit contains:
• Personal, inflatable Mini Baby™ CPR learning manikin
• Infant CPR Skills Practice DVD
• Fold-out Quick Reference Guides (2-sizes)
• Other program accessories Valley Health offers

Family & Friends CPR Anytime™ at the following locations:
• Shenandoah Memorial in Woodstock, VA
• Warren Memorial in Front Royal, VA
• Winchester Medical Center in Winchester, VA

For more information about Family & Friends CPR Anytime™ and Infant CPR Anytime™ call 540-536-2254.

Don’t be afraid. Your actions can only help.