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The Importance of CPR Knowledge in Saving Lives: One Woman's Story

Updated: May 31, 2023

Cardiac arrest and dilated cardiomyopathy survivor LaNysha Adams with her family. From left: Husband David Foss, sons Davidson and Donovan, and LaNysha. (Photo courtesy of LaNysha Adams)

LaNysha Adams is one of the lucky ones. When she went into cardiac arrest in January 2022, her husband, David Foss, knew exactly what to do. Thanks to his CPR training through his job, he could perform chest compressions until first responders arrived, and his actions helped save his wife's life.

Adams' story highlights the importance of CPR knowledge in saving lives. In an emergency situation, every second counts, and performing CPR can mean the difference between life and death. Even if you're not a healthcare professional, learning CPR can equip you with the skills needed to respond quickly and effectively in an emergency.

Unfortunately, many people don't have the knowledge or training necessary to perform CPR when it matters most. According to the American Heart Association, only about 32% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims receive CPR from bystanders. That means two-thirds of people experiencing cardiac arrest don't receive the help they need.

One of the reasons for this low number is that people simply don't know how to perform CPR. Many people assume that only medical professionals can perform the life-saving technique, but that's not the case. CPR is a skill that anyone can learn, regardless of age, occupation, or background.

In fact, many organizations offer CPR training classes to the public. The American Red Cross, for example, offers CPR training courses in communities across the country. These courses cover basic CPR techniques, including chest compressions and rescue breaths, as well as how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Learning CPR not only equips you with the skills needed to save a life, but it can also boost your confidence in an emergency situation. Knowing that you have the knowledge to respond quickly and effectively can help you stay calm and composed when someone needs your help.

Adams' story also highlights the importance of being aware of the risk factors for heart disease. Although she was only 37 at the time of her cardiac arrest, Adams had several risk factors, including a history of postpartum preeclampsia and a recent COVID-19 infection. Awareness of these risk factors and seeking medical attention, when needed, can help prevent heart disease and other related conditions.

In addition to knowing CPR and being aware of risk factors for heart disease, there are other steps you can take to protect your heart health. These include eating a heart-healthy diet, exercising regularly, managing stress, and avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption.

Ultimately, the key to saving lives is education and action. By learning CPR, being aware of risk factors for heart disease, and taking steps to protect your heart health, you can help ensure that you and your loved ones are prepared to respond in an emergency. Adams' story is a powerful reminder of the importance of being prepared and of the life-saving potential of CPR knowledge.


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