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For the Daily News
Each year, almost 300,000 people are victims of cardiac arrest.
This number is just people who are not in the hospital. And less than eight percent of them survive. It can happen to anyone, at any time.
It's not a heart attack. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses become rapid or chaotic. That causes the heart to suddenly stop beating. A heart attack, which occurs when the blood supply to the heart is blocked, may cause cardiac arrest.
If you're with someone who experiences sudden cardiac arrest, do you know what to do? Less than one third of the people who experience sudden cardiac arrest receive CPR from a bystander. But it can double or triple a victim's chance of survival.
The American Heart Association defines cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as a combination of rescue breathing and chest compressions delivered to victims thought to be in cardiac arrest. When cardiac arrest occurs, the heart stops pumping blood. CPR can support a small amount of blood flow to the heart and brain to "buy time" until normal heart function is restored.
"I've performed CPR several times," said Lynn Crowe, an American Heart Association CPR instructor for Oktibbeha Starkville Emergency Response
Volunteer Services (OSERVS). Crowe leads the Adaton Volunteer Fire
Department and works as a Maintenance Superintendent for the Mississippi
Highway Department. He's also active in Boy Scouting, leading local Venture
His most recent class was at Emerson Family School, where he and Millsaps
Career and Technical Center/OSERVS American Heart Association instructor
Vanessa Wilson taught infant, child, and adult CPR to Emerson instructors.
"You never know when you might need it, whether at work, home, or school," Crowe said. "You might have a family member who needs it. I recommend that everyone learn CPR; the next time a class is offered, call and sign up."
American Heart Association certification is renewed every two years.
Standards for CPR are revised periodically, based on scientific data. The current recommendation is more than 100 compressions per minute - the same rhythm as the beat of the BeeGee's song, "Staying' Alive."
February is American Heart Month. That's a good time to make plans for CPR training. And Crowe is taking that a step farther, heading to Tuscaloosa for an instructor training course this week. He'll come back and conduct instructor classes throughout the year for OSERVS.
Anyone interested in becoming an American Heart CPR instructor or in taking a CPR class can contact OSERVS at 384-2200.