Many children are home with a parent or grandparent. If you had a SCA (sudden cardiac arrest), the first thing your child would do is dial 911. Now, from this point forward, one of two things will happen. Your child will wait for EMS to arrive or he/she will immediately begin compressions CPR.
If your child chooses to wait for EMS to arrive, your brain without oxygenation for up to four minutes may not suffer any brain damage at all. But keep in mind, brain damage is possible without oxygenation for four to six minutes. Brain damage is probable without oxygenation for six to ten minutes and brain death is imminent without oxygenation for over ten minutes.
If your child immediately began compressions CPR after dialing 911, your chance of surviving your at home SCA could more than double and the degree of brain damage may be minimized or eliminated. Now, the question is…. can your child perform compressions with proper form, correct technique, adequate depth, provide chest recoil and the necessary rate of 100 compressions per minute?
Yes, your child can perform protocol compliant compressions. Older children age’s 13-17 have the energy and endurance of a female adult, but the younger children age’s 6-12 lack the stamina needed to maintain the compressions for a prolonged period of time. However, younger children can still be effective by reducing the length of time that the brain is deprived of oxygen. If EMS were to arrive four minutes after the initial 911 call was placed and a small child trained in compressions CPR was only able to perform compressions on you for two minutes then you would have only had a lack of oxygen to your brain for 2 minutes. Thus, leaving little to no brain damage if you are to survive an at home SCA.
I am an advocate for children learning compressions CPR. My father at age 41 had a fatal at home SCA when I was a child, leaving me and my five sisters fatherless. Recently, one of my sisters at age 44 also had a fatal at home SCA leaving her two children motherless. It is important that you get your child trained in compressions CPR. Children as young as six with proper training can learn with ease the process of ruling out other medical issues and determine a true cardiac arrest. Statistics show that 88 percent of SCA happen outside of the hospital. 93 percent of the out-of-hospital SCA do not survive. Since there is such a high percentage of at home cardiac arrests, you can help reduce those odds by getting all household family members trained in CPR.
A heart attack gives warning signs, but sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) happens suddenly. You should be prepared to save the life of a loved one in the event of an at home cardiac arrest emergency. Adults and teenagers that babysit should get certified in CPR. CPR Certification Headquarters has resources all over the country that you can utilize to obtain a certification in CPR. Being prepared for a SCA emergency can make the difference between life and death.
A good resource for you to use for children as young as six years old is the Junior Heart Squad book, featuring the Healthy Thinking Kids . The Junior Heart Squad teaches children CPR not as a lesson, but within an adventure story. The Healthy Thinking kids are a group of animated kid characters with personalities and characteristics that real children can relate to. The kids learn that by providing an external artificial heartbeat, they can sustain the life of their loved one while waiting for emergency help to arrive. The book is written in a language kids can understand. Step by step procedure is taught with proper form and technique along with illustrations and explanations for questions such as, how do I keep the brain alive? What is a cardiac arrest? How do we get blood pumping to the brain? By the end of the book your child will be prepared to handle an SCA emergency in your home or the home of their grandparents.
So, are you prepared? Is your child prepared?