Why We Should All Know CPR

Probably, you were trained in CPR at some point in your life.  For me, it was when I served as a lifeguard in college, and then I took a refresher when I was a youth pastor.  And maybe, like me, you’ve allowed your CPR certification to expire.

Well, an amazing story from southern Minnesota is a reminder about why we should all be proficient at CPR: A man fell to the ground in cardiac arrest in the small town of Goodhue and, for the next hour-and-a-half, bystanders worked on him until a helicopter arrived from the Mayo Clinic.  On Tuesday, he met the two dozen people who saved his life.

Heart attack survivor Howard Snitzer looks at the group gathered around him at the Goodhue Fire Department. (USA Today photo by Courtney Perry)

From the USA Today:

For the next 96 minutes — more than an hour and a half — Al, his brother Roy, bystander Candace Koehn, who saw Snitzer fall, and more than two dozen other first responders took turns performing CPR on the fallen man. Their teamwork saved Snitzer’s life, in what may be one of the longest, successful out-of-hospital resuscitations ever.

What makes the incident even more striking was that it took place in rural Goodhue, pop. about 900, a town without a traffic light.

via Dozens of people perform CPR to save heart attack victim – USATODAY.com.

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  • That, sir, is amazing. I’m here to tell to you, CPR is hard work and keeping it going without stopping for an hour and half blows me away. I’ve been in the “business”.(fire department) for over 20 years and things have come a long way. When I first started out, less than 20% of cardiac arrest patients were successfully resuscitated. Now, some municipalities are experiencing survival rates of almost approaching 50%. Key to this is immediate CPR and early defibrillation. Fortunately, for Mr. Snitzer, he was surrounded by people who knew CPR and cared enough to keep it going for such an extended time. If you’ve let your certification slip, or if you’ve never had one, fix that. Nothing says “Love your neighbor” more than saving their life.