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CPR Certification: Is It Just for Cardiac Arrest Victims?

Mackenzie Thompson

by Mackenzie

Life Saver, NHCPS

posted on Apr 14, 2022 at 3:58 am

When someone has a cardiac arrest outside of the hospital, the fast action of a bystander with a CPR certification can mean life or death. For every minute this person goes without CPR, their chance of surviving decreases by seven to 10 percent (NIH.gov). That means that in the 10 minutes it takes for an ambulance to arrive, a tiny chance of survival exists.

And according to the Cleveland Clinic, even if the person does survive, in nine to 10 minutes, unless brain-preserving steps are taken, the person has significant and permanent brain damage. By taking the time to learn CPR, you can make a difference here. You can save a life. Life is precious.

With that said, CPR Certification isn’t just for this cardiac arrest victim. The impact of this critical learning is far-reaching. It can exponentially impact your life and the lives of others. Other than the cardiac arrest victim, who benefits from CPR training? And how much? That’s what you’re about to explore.

CPR Training Is for “Burn Victims” Too

It’s true you only perform CPR on someone who has had a cardiac arrest. But getting CPR certified doesn’t limit you to helping those who’ve just had their hearts stop. In these instances, the chances of being the hero for the day are usually few and far between.

In reality, a CPR certification can encompass a wide range of practical first aid skills you could potentially use almost every day, depending on where you work. But do make sure you’re signing up for a CPR, AED & First Aid Certification Course.

Do you work in a daycare or elementary school where kids have asthma or may injure themselves on the playground? You can put first aid skills you learn in a CPR training course to use. 

Many job sites could use more people who know CPR and first aid:

  • Construction
  • Trucking
  • Law enforcement
  • Recreation and entertainment
  • Retail
  • Food services
  • Office
  • Warehouse

What You’ll Learn in a CPR Training Course

group-of-people-training-for-cpr-compressionsOf course, you’ll learn CPR. That will include hands-only CPR, giving breaths and compressions as one rescuer, team CPR, and using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). But in addition to CPR, you’ll find out how to identify and/or manage the following:

  • Scene safety, protective gear, and first aid kit
  • Breathing problems, including asthma attacks
  • Choking
  • Allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis
  • Fainting
  • Burns
  • Bleeding
  • Head injury
  • Poisoning
  • Heart attack and how to reduce the damage
  • Low blood sugar in people with diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Seizure
  • Shock
  • And more

Wow! That’s a list of valuable skills everyone would benefit from learning. A CPR certification course that covers first aid will likely cover and in a way that you don’t have to be a doctor or nurse to understand.

CPR certification is indeed not only for cardiac arrest victims.

CPR Training Is For the Trainee

The person learning and applying all of this can get a lot out of it. Here are just some personal benefits people receive from being CPR certified and keeping up with their renewal.

Potential Career Perks

You may not realize it, but many employers across industries intentionally try to add people who are CPR and First Aid certified to their teams. They recognize the value of always having someone who knows what to do in an emergency. And, often, they’ll be willing to pay you more based on this certificate. 

CPR certification is certainly not a substitute for formal education or medical training. But if you’re trying to get your foot in the door at your dream job, having CPR certification can be the deciding factor if you and another candidate are more or less equally qualified. 

You might be surprised how often hiring managers are facing the dilemma of having to choose between equally qualified people. So this can become an advantage again and again.

Continuing Medical Education Credits

Completing a certification course can count as Category 2 CME Credits for medical professionals who need to acquire continuing medical education hours.

Feeling Confident in an Emergency

In an emergency, the natural response for many is flight or freeze. But when you’ve prepared for an emergency, you’re more confident. Now, your first response is to follow your training and get to work saving a life.

Staying Current on Best Practices

Should you put butter on a burn? What about placing a cold steak on a black eye or tilting your head back with a nose bleed? No. These are first aid myths.

A lot of people believe them and keep on sharing them. You can find all kinds of misinformation like this when browsing the Internet.

By getting certified in CPR and first aid and then keeping up with your renewal, you’ll be able to spot bogus first aid tips. Know the best thing to do instead.

Save A Life offers Joint Commission Compliant certification courses based on ILCOR standards. The International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR.org) is an organization that reviews the latest available research and develops evidence-based guidelines for emergency patient care.

Medical providers internationally apply these guidelines to assess emergencies, resuscitate patients, maintain brain function, provide optimal post-cardiac care, and more.

When you get certified in areas like CPR,  Bloodborne Pathogens, Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and Pediatric Advanced Cardiac Life Support (PALS), you’re learning these best practices for yourself. You’re not just trusting something you found on the Internet that may be outdated or never true, to begin with. 

Ward off Dementia By Being a Life-Long Learner

Neuroplasticity allows the brain to learn new things, retain its functions, repair hiccups in the brain systems, and continue to work as it should. Challenging yourself to learn new things helps the brain stay resilient and neuroplastic.

Yes. Studies such as this one published by the Journal of the American Medical Association show that continuing to learn new things can reduce rates of dementia. Even after adjusting for dementia-promoters like high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity, this correlation held.

Taking CPR is a fantastic opportunity to learn something useful while feeding your brain’s need for stimulation at the same time.

And while we’re talking about challenging yourself as a lifelong learner, after you get CPR and First Aid certified, you may just want to take on more advanced life-saving techniques with Basic Life Support (BLS) certification.

Peace of Mind for those Caring for a Loved One

According to caregiver.org, 45% of people caring for a parent or spouse feel significant stress. That goes up to 52% for those who live with them. Caring for someone who cared for you can be a great privilege. But it’s also mentally and physically taxing. 

In fact, WomenHealth.gov  reported that women caregivers, in particular, have higher rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, and elevated cholesterol. This is probably not exclusive to women. But it makes the case.

They recommend that carers never stop trying to learn better ways to care for their loved ones. Naturally, finding out what to do in various emergencies is excellent in this regard. It can take some of the stress off.

What’s peace of mind worth to you? If you’re caring for an older adult, child, or adult with special needs, then getting CPR certification can reduce the worry and stress you may feel about medical emergencies.

CPR Certification Benefits Communities

Do you care about your community and want to do your part to promote health, wellness, and general well-being? That’s a silly question. Of course, you do. 

As it turns out, getting CPR certified could be a great way to do that. Just look at some phenomenal studies that prove that.

Mandatory CPR Training Improves Outcomes

group-of-people-training-for-cpr-with-bag-mask-ventilationA 2018 study published in Science Daily performed a meta-analysis of 109,668 patients who had a cardiac arrest outside of the hospital. This is where you’d be most likely to need to give CPR.

They found that in US states and DC where CPR training is mandatory in high school, the chance of someone surviving one of these events is 9.5 percent instead of the US average of 7.6.

Those sound like small numbers. But that represents nearly a 25% increase in survival rate — not insignificant. Denmark Study Shows CPR PSAs Work.

Another interesting study (JAMAnetwork.com) involved public service announcements (PSA) encouraging people to perform CPR on bystanders experiencing cardiac arrest. During the 10 years the national campaign ran, the rates of bystander CPR nearly doubled. 

Even more importantly, the chance of survival for 30 days after a cardiac event went up by 4%. Again, that’s not small when you consider the survival rate, otherwise, is less than 10%.

Counties with More Certified People Have Higher Survival

A cross-sectional study of US counties found that during the study period, survival rates were higher in counties where more people were CPR certified. They also found that, overall, the rates of people getting certified in CPR remain low.

The link between CPR certification and survival is a correlational relationship. However, along with the other studies, it appears that increasing the percentage of people who know CPR in a county could increase the survival rates in that county. 

Counties with the lowest rates of certified people appeared to be rural, had lower income, and had higher average age, so they adjusted for these factors.

CPR Training Is for Employers / Business Owners

As touched on earlier, business owners benefit from hiring people who know CPR. Let’s look at some of these specific benefits.

Reduced Liability

Business owners always face the potential of a lawsuit from a customer, employee, or vendor. Having multiple people who know how to manage emergencies reduces the risk of something happening in the first place. It can also reduce the damage caused, should something happen.

Better Morale

When employees know that co-workers are up-to-date with their CPR renewal, they can feel more comfortable on the job. Hiring people who know CPR and First Aid shows you can about your team, value their safety, and will take steps to maintain a safe work environment.

Being on Good Terms with OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is tasked with holding employers accountable for creating safe work environments. OSHA doesn’t require CPR for every workplace. But they do recommend employers to actively work to have one or two people on each team who knows first aid, including CPR (OSHA.gov).

When it comes to working with a government agency, following the recommendations is almost as important as complying with regulations. It shows them you respect their authority and guidance.

Good PR

Of course, you don’t want someone to experience a life-threatening emergency at your place of business. But if a customer does go into cardiac arrest, the fast action of your non-medical team can turn into good public relations.

CPR Training Is for Everyone You Love

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.gov), 70% of cardiac arrests happen in people’s homes. Sadly, in 50% of these cases, no one starts CPR. They instead wait for an ambulance. In the city, it takes eight minutes for an ambulance to arrive on average. In rural areas, it takes 25 minutes (NIH.gov). As discussed, that’s too long to wait. 

If you see someone in cardiac arrest, you need to start CPR within three minutes. That means you do have a little time to grab a phone and call 911 if you’re alone with the victim.

When you choose to get certified and maintain your renewal, you benefit everyone you love. If you know CPR and they have an event, you’re here for them. At the same time, if your loved ones and friends also get CPR certifications, they can be there for you in the same way.

A CPR certification isn’t just for cardiac arrest victims. Learning skills like CPR, first aid, and basic life support benefits everyone.

About Mackenzie

Mackenzie is a lover of world travel, photography, design, style and Chinese cooking. She is passionate about working towards a purpose, recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Media and Marketing, and is currently residing in Manhattan.

Contact Mackenzie at [email protected]

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