Saving a life by learning CPR for Sudden Cardiac Awareness Month


RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Sudden cardiac arrest strikes more than 350,000 people in the U.S. each year. The month of October is dedicated to raising awareness, so we can all take steps to prevent cardiac arrest from taking lives.

“After 25 years I’ve seen a few people go into cardiac arrest or have treated patients after they have gone into cardiac arrest, so it does happen frequently, it’s more common than you think,” Division Chief of Medical Operations Jason Culberson said.

For a person who experiences cardiac arrest, each minute that goes by untreated lowers their chance of survival by 10 percent.

“So one of the most important things is for victims of cardiac arrest to receive immediate bystander CPR and that immediate bystander CPR exponentially increases the victims chance of survival,” Rapid City Fire Department Public Information Officer Jim Bussell said.

CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation is practiced by many people in the community, including firefighters.

But you don’t need to wear a badge to learn it… you just need a couple of hours.

“We really encourage you to take a hands-only CPR course so that simply means if you recognize that somebody is in cardiac arrest, put your hands in the center of their chest and start pushing and push down at least two inches and release it all the way out and do it at a hundred times a minute,” Culberson said.

The devices can be found in a lot of public places, including businesses and schools.

“Not only the training is important but having an awareness and that’s where an app like pulsepoint comes in and PulsePoint can be very very helpful,” Bussell said.

PulsePoint is an app you can download on any smart device. If you are trained in CPR and someone near you is experiencing cardiac arrest, you will get a notification.

“Purchase the PulsePoint app we really encourage the community to engage in helping us help our citizens in Rapid survive cardiac arrest,” Culverson said.

It’s as simple as downloading an app and learning CPR… and you might be the one who saves a life.

Here is where you can find CPR courses near you.

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