If someone went into cardiac arrest, would you know what to do?

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 7:54 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - If someone went into cardiac arrest near you, would you know what to do?

Ohio leaders are trying to get more people to be able to answer that question with a ‘Yes’.

More than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside the hospital each year, according to The American Heart Association.

Your chance of survival doubles, or even triples, if someone can perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR.

The emergency procedure helps keep blood flowing when someone’s heart stops beating.

Ohio is one of at least 39 states that require CPR training for high school graduation.

The lifesaving skills are being taught so that a whole new generation will be ready to potentially keep you or a family member alive.

“We have hundreds and hundreds of young capable people out with this knowledge and skills to do CPR,” says Ken Hehnen, a retired North Olmsted Fire Lt.

Hehnen travels around the western suburbs of Cleveland, in partnership with University Hospitals, teaching free classes at schools, community centers.

His team reached about 4,000 people last year.

“I’m very interested to see when they do a big study down the road, to see how this impacts our survivor-ability,” says Hehnan, and he has a gut feeling about what that study would show. “I think it’s definitely going to increase it. We are seeing a lot more bystander CPR.”

Students at Bay High School recently completed one of Hehnen’s CPR training sessions.

“It’s a lot easier than I thought and I think more people should learn how to do this,” says Freshman Colin McAlea.

“Now if there’s ever a crisis, I’d be able to easily identify it, when lives are at risk there’s a better chance to help these people,” adds Harvey Belveal, also a freshman at Bay High.

“It’s definitely a life skill that everyone should have.” Bobby Dougherty is the chairman for the Health and Physical Education Department at Bay High.

He’s seen this very training be called into action among staff and coaches.

“Nobody wants to be in that situation,” says Dougherty. “We just watched what happened with the Buffalo Bills and the Bengals, nobody wants to be in that, but you hope that the people around you, have the training.”

The training will likely be used on someone you know and love.

Hehnen says 75% of out of hospital cardiac arrest happen in the home.

Who’s at home with you? Your family members. He says that fact puts the importance of this training into perspective.

If you’re interested in finding out where free CPR classes are being offered, click here.