NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Cardiac arrest is a public crisis, according to a report by the American Heart Association. If someone were to go into cardiac arrest in front of you, would you be prepared?

Annually, there are more than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests with nearly 90% being fatal. This is equal to about a thousand people per day and it can affect people of all ages.

One of the most important things is to know CPR.

“CPR is cardiopulmonary resuscitation and it is basically doing chest compression and breathing for the patient,” said Wayne Fahy, a paramedic and advanced instructor for Trinity Health.

CPR can be done as alternating chest compressions with mouth-to-mouth breaths, but an alternative is hands-only.

“Get that palm of the heel kind of on the sternum. There you go. And then you’re gonna interlock. Get yourself up over your patient and kind of use your shoulders and your arms to push down. Keep your arms locked. And you don’t want to pull off. You want to kind of keep your hands on the chest. You’ve got to push a little bit harder and little bit deeper. There you go,” said Fahy during a demonstration.

Fahy says it’s important for people to know how to help in case something happens to someone you know or even a stranger. And if you don’t know how to do CPR, Trinity Health offers classes for CPR certifications.

“We do what’s called a Heart Saver and that is for the general public, daycare providers, teachers, those types of people. We teach Heart Saver too. And then we also do BLS, for healthcare providers,” said Fahy.

If chest compressions aren’t performed before help arrives, the person’s chance of survival decreases by 11% per minute.

Fahy says CPR is beneficial, but if an automated external defibrillator or AED device is on hand, it’s better to use that or do both.

“CPR in some occasions can restore a heartbeat, but most of the time to restore that heartbeat, we need to have that defibrillator to reset the heart and let it pick its own heartbeat again,” said Fahy.

And you don’t need to be a professional to use the device. Once you turn it on, it speaks the instructions and you follow along.

KX News’ Lauren Davis even did a demonstration.

“We pick these up and as you were saying earlier, it has stickers for where it’s located. So this one would be placed about here,” said Davis.

“Yeah,” said Fahy.

“And then this would be placed, you said down here. And then you make sure that’s firmly on the person,” said Davis.

“You would start compressions again,” said Fahy.

“So then back to,” said Davis.
does chest compressions

Public access AEDs are located in airports, schools, and other public locations, while professional use AEDS are used by first responders.

Trinity Health offers a number of education and certification courses.

Individuals looking for information on any course may call 701-852-9483 ext. 105.