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American Heart Association Survey Reveals Americans Lack Confidence in Lifesaving Skills for Common Cardiac Emergency
Date:5/28/2008

DALLAS, May 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Most Americans don't believe they could perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use an automated external defibrillator (AED) to help save a life in a cardiac emergency, according to a recent American Heart Association survey.

In an online survey of more than 1,100 adults, 89 percent said they were willing and able to do something to help if they witnessed a medical emergency. Yet only 21 percent were confident they could perform CPR, and only 15 percent believed they could use an AED in an emergency. More than half of those surveyed didn't recognize an AED in a typical setting. Survey respondents reported lack of confidence, concern about legal consequences and fear of hurting a victim as reasons they would not take action in a cardiac emergency.

The American Heart Association released the survey results as part of the inaugural National CPR/AED Awareness Week, June 1-7. The intent of the week is to encourage the public to get CPR training and learn how to use an AED to reduce death and disability from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

Unfortunately, only about six percent of out-of-hospital SCA victims survive. Without immediate, effective CPR, the chance of surviving out-of-hospital SCA decreases seven to 10 percent per minute. Even if CPR is performed, defibrillation with an AED is required to stop the abnormal rhythm and restore a normal heart rhythm.

"We think it's critical for people to get CPR training and learn how to use an AED," said Lance Becker, M.D., professor of emergency medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and spokesperson for the American Heart Association. "CPR and AED use are inextricably linked in the SCA survival chain, and it's crucial that bystanders take rapid action. If more people are trained and respond, we can save thousands more lives."

The American Heart Association provides classroom CPR and AED instruction, as well as a self-p
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SOURCE American Heart Association
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