Health can feel like a very fragile thing sometimes. It seems that we hear stories every day of some kind of medical emergency touching a person we know.
Cardiac emergencies can strike anyone, anywhere, anytime. Today’s ambulances, emergency rooms, and hospitals are more advanced than ever before, and the prospects of surviving and recovering from a heart attack or similar event are higher than ever before.
However, those cutting-edge resources are unable to help if the patient does not receive CPR as soon as possible. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a process of using the hands to alternately compress and relax the chest cavity, forcing blood to circulate through the body when the heart is not effectively doing so.
Because we spend forty or more hours a week at work, there is always a chance that someone in the workplace could suffer a medical emergency that requires CPR. For that reason, it’s a great idea for everyone at work to be trained in CPR. Here are several reasons why.
Saving Time, Saving Lives
The next time you are driving around near your workplace, see how long it takes to drive there from the nearest fire station or ambulance facility, and then add the time that it takes to walk briskly or even run to your desk. Chances are it’s at least six minutes, maybe more.
Minutes count. When your heart stops, you have between four and six minutes until irreversible brain damage will occur. If paramedics cannot arrive in that time–and that is rare–this worst possible outcome cannot be avoided. The key is to get immediate CPR so that the brain continues to receive oxygen until definitive care can be administered in an ambulance or the emergency room.
Every business and government agency has a long list of requirements for equipment, procedures, training, and operations. We often get frustrated with them, but they’re usually rooted in something very important and worthwhile.
Sometimes CPR is a mandate from a regulatory agency, corporate headquarters, or an insurance provider. In this case, you should not only see the administrative value of knowing CPR, but also the underlying logic: If your board of directors, insurer, or other authority with experience in your field thinks that mandatory CPR training is good policy, then it must be worth doing.
Providing Peace of Mind
Imagine if your spouse had a heart condition and you watched him or her go off to work every day, unsure of whether someone would be there to help if something happened. The worry would be overwhelming.
According to the CDC, about 610,000 people die of heart disease each year. That means millions of people have heart conditions, many of them undiagnosed. For those who do know they have an issue, it can be a source of great reassurance to them and their families when the patient’s co-workers have been trained in CPR.
Helping Outside the Office
Most businesses like to think that their employees project a positive image for the company, even when they’re off the clock. Government employees are often subject to a code of conduct for their personal behavior.
The idea here is to avoid negative actions, but sometimes it can also be an opportunity to project positive ones. When your business or agency models certain behavior, it can rub off on others. An office staff that is fully trained in CPR has the potential to inspire others to do likewise, increasing the number of trained people and improving the chances that someone close by will be able to help when an emergency happens.
CPR is a lifesaving skill. Having your office staff certified and proficient in CPR provides benefits far beyond simply satisfying someone’s orders or checking off an item on a to-do list. It helps to create a safer work environment where co-workers are prepared to help each other in the most frightening possible situation.
Many fire departments, hospitals, health departments, and community groups host CPR classes each year, and many of the instructors will gladly teach the class right in your office. The class is simple, brief, and effective, and it will help you assemble a staff that is ready to step in when disaster strikes.