National CPR/AED Awareness Week

by Krystal Smith, American Red Cross, Regional Digital Communications Specialist

It’s National CPR/AED Awareness Week and the Red Cross is urging everyone to get trained! Check out the FAQ answers to learn more.

What is CPR/AED?

CPR stands for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. CPR is the process of performing a series of chest compressions and supporting breaths.

An AED is an Automated External Defibrillator. The AED is a device that measures an unresponsive person’s rhythms and delivers an electronic shock to the individual in attempt to restart the heartbeat.

What is cardiac arrest?

Cardiac arrest occurs when someone’s heart suddenly stops functioning.

How common is cardiac arrest?

Sudden cardiac arrest claims thousands of lives every year.

How much time do you have to save someone’s life once they enter cardiac arrest?

Every Second Counts!! Sudden cardiac arrest claims thousands of lives each year. The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates about 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. Every minute without a defibrillator (or AED) decreases a victims chance of survival, but with your help you can give someone a fighting chance to survive.

Why should I take CPR/AED training?

Knowing when and how to perform CPR and use an AED can make the difference between life and death for someone suffering cardiac arrest. Whether you want to be able to help keep your loved ones safe or help someone in your work place, or use your training professionally, Red Cross can give you the knowledge and skills to be able to help.

Who should be certified?

The Red Cross recommends that households, businesses and schools receive training in CPR and proper use of an AED. This training can give them the knowledge and confidence to respond during an emergency situation with skills that can help save a life.

Where can I become certified?

Classes are held throughout the year. The Red Cross offers several different opportunities to receive training. One is to attend in-person classes held at convenient locations with hands-on training from experienced instructors. Online and blended (combining hands-on training with online content) simulation learning offerings are also available.Sign up for a course here.

Want to know more now? Download the free Red Cross First Aid App which puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies, including sudden cardiac arrest, at your fingertips. Download by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at

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