More than 350,000 cardiac arrests happen outside of the hospital each year in the U.S., according to the American Heart Association.
CPR and AEDs can make the difference between life and death in those situations.
When Ann Thompson heard her son fall to the floor in May of 2012, she didn’t know what to do.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t do CPR and we didn’t know the signs of cardiac arrest,” Adam’s Mom Ann Thompson said.
Her 16-year-old son Adam died.
That’s why she believes CPR and AEDs are so important today.
“You can’t save a life without the CPR and a lot of times you can’t save a life without AED so they work as a team,” Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Division Chief Jeff Helm said.
Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Division Chief Jeff Helm says if CPR isn’t started right away, a person’s chances of of survival can decrease every minute by 7-10%.
CPR keeps the blood flowing until an AED becomes available.
“When the heart stops there’s some rhythms where the only way they’ll start back up is with an electrical shock,” Helm.
Helm recommends AEDs be located anywhere the public frequents.
Some people even keep them in their homes.
“You open it up and you follow the instructions and you can use it. You don’t have to have any prior training in order to use a public access defib,” Helm said.
“Sudden cardiac arrest in kids is preventable. People just need to know what to do, what to look for, and pay attention,” Thompson said.
If you’re interested in learning more about CPR and using AEDs, click here.
Coming up in tonight’s Eye on KELOLAND at 10, we’ll sit down with Ann to find out how she’s making a difference.