According to a recent survey by the Cleveland Clinic, many Americans don't have the knowledge to help others, or themselves, in a heart health emergency.
The survey was conducted as part of Cleveland Clinic’s “Love your Heart” education campaign in celebration of Heart Health Month.
The survey found that slightly more than half of Americans (54 percent) say they know how to perform CPR; however, only one in six know that the recommended technique for bystander CPR consists of just chest compressions – and no breaths – on an adult.
The results also reveal that many Americans confuse heart attack and stroke symptoms, which would compromise the proper response to an emergency situation.
In the event of a cardiac arrest, an automated external defibrillator (AED) can also be a lifesaver. However, only about a quarter (27 percent) of Americans say there is an AED at their workplaces.
“When someone is suffering from cardiac arrest, time is not on their side,” said Steve Nissen, M.D., chairman of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic. “Immediate CPR can be the difference between life and death, doubling or even tripling a person’s chance of survival. It’s a skill that can be easily learned, and we encourage everyone to equip themselves with this knowledge and not be afraid to use it during an emergency.”
“Every year about 735,000 Americans experience a heart attack. It’s vital to know the correct signs and symptoms, so people can take the best first steps to help themselves during an emergency. Knowing how to properly respond to a heart attack could save your life or the life of a loved one,” said Dr. Nissen.
While most Americans know to call 911 as the first step in responding to a heart attack, only about one-third (36 percent) know that they should chew an aspirin right away.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States and around the world. For more information about the Cleveland Clinic's survey, click here.