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, 1 St. Anthony’s Way, Alton, is hosting an upcoming first aid and CPR training class so Riverbend area residents are prepared to take action if necessary.

The first aid and CPR training class will be held on Thursday, March 30, 5:30-8 p.m. in the hospital’s Perpetual Help Center and led by a certified instructor. Space is limited and the deadline to register is Monday, March 27. The cost is $65.00/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,” said Sands.

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.


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