Bystander CPR Saves Lives
In recent years, there has been an increase in the percentage of individuals who receive CPR or Defibrillation from bystanders and first responders while in cardiac arrest. In many cases, cardiac arrest is fatal unless action is taken quickly. It has been found that rapid treatment of cardiac arrest patients increases the likelihood of survival and resultant good brain function by as much as 7-10%.
One major challenge in getting bystanders to perform CPR or use a defibrillator is the fear of repercussion if damage is done. However, medical professionals indicate that cardiac arrest is fatal, so any attempt can only help the victim's chance of survival and recovery. Additionally, many areas protect bystanders from blame with "good Samaritan" laws.
In North Carolina, an awareness campaign was implemented from 2011-2013 to increase the percentage of bystanders that would assist a cardiac arrest victim. This campaign increased survival and resultant brain function in victims by 37%. During this period, a larger percentage of victims were assisted by bystanders performing CPR or using a defibrillator than by first responders.