ALTON – People who have cardiac arrests may benefit from CPR, yet many people who witness cardiac arrest do not perform CPR. That’s why OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center at 1 St. Anthony’s Way in Alton is hosting an upcoming first aid and CPR training.

The first aid and CPR training class will be held Monday, Feb. 6 from 5:30-8 p.m. in the hospital’s Perpetual Help Center and led by a certified instructor. Space is limited; the deadline to register is Friday, Feb. 3. The cost is $65 per person.

Registration can be completed by calling 618-920-6816 or by email at [email protected].

“Knowing CPR and first aid can help save lives,” said Dennis E. Sands, MD, Chief Medical Officer, OSF Saint Anthony’s. “If your child or loved one isn't breathing, knowing how to do CPR could mean the difference between life and death. Emergencies can strike at any time, and it may take several minutes before help arrives.”

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, is an emergency procedure that can help save a person’s life if their breathing or heart stops.

“When a person’s heart stops beating, they are in cardiac arrest. During cardiac arrest, the heart cannot pump blood to the rest of the body, including the brain and lungs. Death could happen in minutes without treatment. CPR uses chest compressions to mimic how the heart pumps. These compressions help keep blood flowing throughout the body,” Sands said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) web site, currently, about 9 in 10 people who have cardiac arrest outside the hospital die. But CPR can help improve those odds. If it is performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, CPR can double or triple a person's chance of survival.

The CDC also states that about 350,000 cardiac arrests happen outside of hospitals each year—and about 7 in 10 of those happen at home. Unfortunately, about half of the people who experience cardiac arrests at home don’t get the help they need from bystanders before an ambulance arrives.

Interest in CPR training around the United States has surged due to the Damar Hamlin emergency as millions of viewers watched medical staff save the life of the Buffalo Bills player during an NFL Monday Night Football game on Jan. 2. Bills personnel performed CPR (and used a defibrillator) to resuscitate him after a sudden cardiac arrest.


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