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The Importance of CPR During SCA Month

Photo by: Unsplash

The month of October is nationally recognized as Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month (SCA). Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the nation. According to the CDC, about 60% to 80% of victims who suffer from cardiac arrest outside of a hospital pass away. With the number of cases skyrocketing each year, the need for CPR education becomes more and more prevalent. 

On the morning of Dec. 26, 2022, I had a personal experience with this issue when I witnessed my own father go into sudden cardiac arrest. He was only 52 years old at the time and extremely active. He had no previous history of heart disease, nor did it run in his family. The episode was completely unprecedented. 

According to the doctors who treated my father, if he hadn’t received CPR when he did (which was almost immediately), his chances of surviving would have significantly decreased.

 For this reason, it is important to be proactive in learning this potentially life-saving procedure. 

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Here are several ways that you can get CPR certified:

  • The YMCA of Ft. Myers holds CPR/AED and lifeguarding certification courses on a monthly basis.
  • FGCU offers a blended Lifeguard course that teaches students how to respond in both aquatic and cardiac emergencies.
  • The American Red Cross offers a variety of different online certification courses, including adult/child-specific CPR training courses. 

Additionally, if certification fees aren’t something you can currently afford, the Fort Myers Fire Department offers free classes on compressions-only CPR several times a year. These courses are not viable for certification but are extremely helpful in educating the community on how to respond in a cardiac emergency. 

While it is suggested to get your CPR certification updated every two years, I will personally urge you to take the course at least once in your life. Before my father’s episode, my only prior experience with CPR was when I got certified in middle school. When my father went into cardiac arrest, I was in my freshman year of college. I never thought that I would have to use that skill, especially not on one of my own parents. Being familiar with CPR helped me respond to the emergency in the most effective way I could, and it saved my father’s life.

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    JuanOct 12, 2023 at 10:55 am

    Thank you for saving my life! Love you!