AHA Training Center

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CPR Statistics and Basics

Anyone can learn CPR – and everyone should! Sadly, 70 percent of Americans may feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they either do not know how to administer CPR or their training has significantly lapsed.

Why is it so important to learn CPR?

Cardiac arrests are more common than you think, and they can happen to anyone at any time.

  • Nearly 383,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests occur annually, and 88 percent of cardiac arrests occur at home. Put very simply: The life you save with CPR is mostly likely to be someone you love
  • Four out of five cardiac arrests happen at home. Statistically speaking, if called on to administer CPR in an emergency, the life you save is likely to be someone at home: a child, a spouse, a parent or a friend.
  • Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival, but only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims get CPR from a bystander.
  • Many victims appear healthy with no known heart disease or other risk factors.
  • Sudden cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack. Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic, which causes the heart to suddenly stop beating. A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is blocked. A heart attack may cause cardiac arrest.
  • Failure to act in a cardiac emergency can lead to unnecessary deaths.

* Cardiac arrest statistics sourced from American Heart Association.