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OSF Saint Anthony’s to host first aid, CPR training class

Space is limited; Feb. 3 is deadline to register

People who have cardiac arrests may benefit from CPR, yet many people who witness cardiac arrest do not perform CPR. That’s why OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center (1 St. Anthony’s Way, Alton) is hosting an upcoming first aid and CPR training class so Riverbend area residents are prepared to take action if necessary.

The first aid and CPR training class will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, in the hospital’s Perpetual Help Center and led by a certified instructor. Space is limited and the deadline to register is Friday, Feb. 3. The cost is $65 per person.

Registration can be completed by calling (618) 920-6816 or by email at susiesweetman22@gmail.com.

“Knowing CPR and first aid can help save lives,” says Dennis E. Sands, MD, Chief Medical Officer, OSF Saint Anthony’s. “If your child or loved one isn’t breathing, knowing how to do CPR could mean the difference between life and death. Emergencies can strike at any time, and it may take several minutes before help arrives.”

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, is an emergency procedure that can help save a person’s life if their breathing or heart stops. “When a person’s heart stops beating, they are in cardiac arrest. During cardiac arrest, the heart cannot pump blood to the rest of the body, including the brain and lungs. Death could happen in minutes without treatment. CPR uses chest compressions to mimic how the heart pumps. These compressions help keep blood flowing throughout the body,” says Dr. Sands.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, currently, about 9 in 10 people who have cardiac arrest outside the hospital die. But CPR can help improve those odds. If it is performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, CPR can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.

The CDC also states that about 350,000 cardiac arrests happen outside of hospitals each year—and about 7 in 10 of those happen at home. Unfortunately, about half of the people who experience cardiac arrests at home don’t get the help they need from bystanders before an ambulance arrives.

Interest in CPR training around the United States has surged due to the Damar Hamlin emergency as millions of viewers watched medical staff save the life of the Buffalo Bills player during an NFL Monday Night Football game on January 2. Bills’ team personnel performed CPR (and used a defibrillator) to resuscitate Hamlin after a sudden cardiac arrest.

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