The American Heart Association (AHA) has launched a new campaign to promote first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and automatic external defibrillator (AED) training. The association says it was motivated by research that finds most U.S. employees are not prepared to handle a workplace cardiac emergency because they lack training in CPR and first aid. Half of the employees questioned could not locate an automated external defibrillator at work.
Cardiac arrest happens when the heart suddenly stops beating. Survival chances outside the hospital can double or triple when CPR is immediately performed by a bystander.
Said Michael Kurz, MD, an AHA committee chair and associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, “Such training has the potential to save thousands of lives, considering there are 10,000 cardiac arrests in the workplace annually.”
Kurz says the survey data suggests that untrained employees may be relying on their untrained peers in an emergency. That leaves employees with a false sense of security that someone in the workplace is qualified and able to respond, when in fact that is not the case. Of safety managers surveyed, a third said lives had been saved at home and at work as a result of first aid, CPR, and AED training provided on the job. Interestingly, younger generations were less likely to participate in the training. The AHA says this could be due to a sense of invincibility among younger employees.
Learn more about preparing employees to respond to cardiac emergencies here.