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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Why you should think about incorporating CPR training in your workplace

Workplace CPR training
Employee CPR training boosts workplace safety
By Oscar King

Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in the US and all over the world. And the scary thing is that a significant number of the heart attacks and cardiac arrests suffered by individuals happen while they’re on the job. There’s nothing worse than an employee suffering a cardiac arrest or a heart attack in the workplace and nothing done to try and save the person on the spot.

While the company could actually call 911 or an EMT service, something needs to be done to keep the individual alive before the EMTs arrive. According to the American Heart Association, over 400,000 cardiac arrest induced deaths occur annually, and over 10% of those happen at the workplace. That’s basically over 40,000 people dying because they didn’t get the required medical help they needed to stay alive and survive the heart attack or cardiac arrest.

To drive the point home, more people die of heart related conditions every 72 hours than all those who died during the 9/11 attacks. The Center for Disease Control says over 600,000 people die of heart diseases yearly – that’s 1 in 4 deaths. These are very distressing numbers. Also equally distressing is the fact that many deskbound workers may not even know they are susceptible until they keel over at their desks, while walking to another office or on their way to lunch. This is where CPR training becomes essential. The reasons for getting your staff the requisite training are numerous, but the most important are as follows:

Boosts workplace health awareness

The first thing about CPR training is that it drives home the awareness that people could be susceptible to heart conditions. Studies and research have shown that organizations that have undergone the appropriate CPR training tend to have more active workers after the training than they did previously. This is because the workers are typically trained on lifestyle habits that’ll keep their hearts in great working condition alongside the requisite techniques needed for the resuscitation of a colleague who has an attack.

Helps workers understand the necessary measures during an emergency

Most workers typically panic or stare in shock when there’s an incidence of a heart attack at the workplace. This is not the right approach. Having CPR training shows the workers what to do immediately after someone suffers a heart attack or a cardiac arrest in the office. So, instead of just dumb shock, a well prepped workforce will be able to clear the room, take immediate action like giving the colleague CPR… all while someone contacts 911 or nearby EMTs. The training helps provide concerted focus and action as opposed to the usual mindless running around, stunned shock and panicking that does nothing for the victim.

Could save lives

The great thing about getting CPR training is the fact that the victim can actually live longer and function fully even after the attack, thanks to the CPR he/she gets on the spot. For instance, in the case of cardiac arrests where the heart has lost its electrical conductive capacity, doing a CPR can help keep the heart beating and keep the blood supply to the victim’s brain steady before the EMTs arrive with paddles or take the person to the hospital. For most victims of cardiac arrests, the first 2-5 minutes are crucial because the heart stops beating and stops circulating blood. And once the blood stops going to the brain, most people suffer some form of brain damage. Some people recover, others don’t. This is one of the reasons the death rate from heart related conditions is often high.

Incorporating a CPR training program into your workplace is both smart and economically beneficial. Get your employees the training today and your staff will be healthier, more productive and live longer.


About the author: Oscar King, when he's not writing articles, works as a safety coordinator for his own workplace - doing what he can to keep people happy and healthy. He recommends that employers that have not done so integrate software solutions to their safety programs, and heartily recommends eCompliance's Health and Safety Management System for that purpose. You can find more examples of his work on Google+.

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Image: Rama; CC BY-SA 2.0 FR