CPR: Save a Life

Learning CPRTaking a diversion today from the specific Crohn’s and colitis talk to another medical topic that applies to everyone, I want to encourage you to do something. It might prove to be the easiest way to make a tremendous impact on somone’s life… by saving it.

Last week I took a refresher course in administering CPR. I had learned it long ago as a Boy Scout, then again about five years ago. I had gotten to the point where I wasn’t sure if I remembered how to do it anymore, so I took a class offered by my employer.

This was also partly inspired by a couple events of the past year. Last spring I was run off the road by a drunk driver as he nearly rear-ended me, lost control, and rolled his car 9 times down the freeway. While CPR itself was not needed for response to that awful scene, some of the other first aid skills I learned in my CPR course come in very handy. Another motivator came  few months earlier when a family member had to perform CPR on a hiking companion deep in the mountain wilderness.

These stories are vivid reminders that a crisis can find us any time, anywhere. I can imagine how helpless it would feel for a person to find oneself in that situation and know they could have helped… if they’d only known how.

Well, you can know how. The American Red Cross organizes CPR and first aid courses nationwide. Many large employers offer them for employees. Schools, community centers, health clubs, and all sorts of other places also host classes. There are a number of different courses you can take, some of which also cover first aid basics for other situations.

By most estimates, more than a million Americans suffer heart attacks each year. That’s one in three hundred people. According to the Red Cross, more than two million lives have been saved by CPR.

The class I just attended took a mere three hours and the material is not difficult. While there is plenty of important information to learn and retain, taking a course and learning CPR is remarkably easy—especially compared to the tremendous life-saving potential it offers. Get yourself prepared to save a life and find a CPR class today.

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About the Author

Andrew Tubesing is an acclaimed advocate and humorist on the subject of inflammatory bowel disease.