According to a new poll, nearly half of all American adults will not be prepared for a potential medical emergency should one arise in the future. The poll in question was conducted by Emergency Physicians and Morning Consult.
A total of 76 percent of those who were surveyed stated they felt prepared to communicate with a 911 dispatcher, while only 55 percent said they could provide hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation, otherwise known as CPR.
“Meanwhile, just 47% said they were prepared to apply a tourniquet to control severe bleeding, the same number who said they could move a victim to safety. Fewer than 29% said they felt prepared to use an automatic external defibrillator (AED),” Newsmax reported.
“A medical emergency can happen at any time and quick action by a bystander can be the difference between life or death,” ACEP president Dr. Christopher Kang stated. “Everyone can learn some easy steps to take so that they can help in an emergency.
Here’s more you should know from the report:
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About 83% of adults who’ve had some kind of emergency training say they’re willing to act during a medical crisis while waiting for professional emergency responders to arrive. The ACEP noted that the heart stops during cardiac arrest, which means blood isn’t flowing to the brain and vital organs, and brain cells start to die in minutes. Response by bystanders is critical.
Nearly 90% of cardiac arrests that happen outside of a hospital are fatal, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
CPR performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest can double or triple the likelihood that a person will survive, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While a person may still be able to talk or breathe during a heart attack, it’s not the same as a cardiac arrest, the ACEP noted. A person who has had a heart attack should only be given CPR if they lose consciousness, do not have a pulse or stop breathing.
If a bystander witnesses an apparent cardiac arrest, the bystander should verify the scene is safe, call 911 or ask another person to do so, and then start CPR or use an available AED as soon as possible.
“Rapid response significantly increases the chances a person survives an emergency like cardiac arrest,” Kang went on to say in an ACEP news release. “Most cardiac arrests that take place outside of a hospital happen inside the home. Knowing how to give CPR or use an AED could save somebody very close to you.”