Thursday, May 31, 2012

Save a Life with CPR

Contributed by Angela Ambrosia, Ph.D.
Rio Salado College Faculty Chair of Allied Health


According to the American Heart Association, in 2011, more than 380,000 incidents of sudden cardiac arrest occurred outside of hospitals and emergency rooms. Less than eight percent of these victims survive.

Fortunately, the hope for survival increases with effective bystander Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and the use of an Automated External Defibrillator provided at the time of the attack. In addition, four out of five cardiac arrests occur in the home, meaning a friend or family member’s life can be saved.

There is a misconception that only medical professionals need to know CPR, but learning how to properly administer CPR is vital for everyone. Because of the lack of proper training and the tendency to forget skills learned, nearly 70 percent of Americans feel helpless when administering CPR.

Rio Salado College offers three online courses in CPR; HCC109 – Basic Life Support for Healthcare providers, HES 106 – Heartsaver CPR AED and HES154 – Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED. These courses require an in-person skills assessment and provide the participant with an American Heart Association card upon completion of the course. This ensures the student’s knowledge is thorough and long lasting.

The success of the courses is evident through the students’ use of CPR during numerous real-life emergencies. In one situation, a student at Rio, was on his way to take the skills test for a CPR course and encountered an automobile accident. The student said that because of his training from Rio he had the confidence to secure the scene, call 911 and provide basic first aid to five victims involved in the accident.

Sarah Johnson, a mother of two and graduate of Rio’s CPR course, found the course to be very helpful, accessible and convenient with her busy schedule.

“If you set quiet time aside, you will get the most out of the class,” Johnson said. “Just knowing that I have the knowledge of CPR means that I don’t have to wait for someone else to get there to help.”

CPR courses at Rio Salado are not only extremely useful but also convenient. The college has offered these courses online since 2010, allowing students to become well practiced in crucial life support practices. In addition, the in-person skills assessment can be scheduled at a convenient time for the student.

For those who may not have the time to take an online course, and want to be prepared, a hands-on instructional video is available from the AHA in support of National CPR and AED Awareness Week, June 1-7.


Keep in mind that hands-only CPR, which consists of only chest compressions, has proven to be as effective as mouth-to-mouth CPR in treating adult cardiac arrest victims. Taking a few classes online or watching a video is an easy and small price to pay for the ability to save a life.

June 1-7 is National CPR & AED Awareness Week. Rio Salado will celebrate CPR awareness throughout the month and provide a Laderal™ Face Shield CPR Barrier Key Ring to students who complete their coursework. The shield prevents direct contact with the mouth, nose and face to protect the rescuer and victim.

Article published in the Tempe Republic May 30