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Community lifesavers

Bystander CPR saves lives

Every minute counts

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death worldwide. Every five seconds, SCA claims a life leading to more than 6 million deaths every year. The vast majority of cardiac arrests happen in the home and almost 40% of these are witnessed by a bystander.

After 1 minute, brain cells without oxygen begin to die.  Emergency Medical Services (EMS) response times can average 7–12 minutes, or even longer. The ability of bystanders to perform CPR while waiting for the ambulance is critical to survival and positive patient outcomes.

Bystander CPR rates vary greatly. In some places, only 5% of bystanders perform CPR and in other places as many as 70%. By increasing bystander CPR efforts, there is a large potential for increasing survival rates.

Laerdal and the American Heart Association

Laerdal has collaborated with the American Heart Association on a number of projects designed to help save lives through the implementation of medical science and evidence-based educational products in Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC). These include the CPR Anytime® kit, HeartCode® eSimulation courses, and the Resuscitation Quality Improvement (RQI®) program.



Creating communities of lifesavers

Over 350,000 people suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year in the U.S. Only 10% of them survive. Survival depends on getting CPR immediately from a bystander within the first few minutes following cardiac arrest, before first responders arrive. This can double, or even triple, a victim’s chance of survival—but less than half of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest sufferers receive the lifesaving CPR they need from a bystander.1

When every minute is crucial, it’s critical for people to act—but many Americans lack the knowledge or confidence to perform CPR in an emergency.2 The solution lies in widespread community CPR training. Educating the lay public on the importance of CPR and how to perform it will increase the number of lifesavers in our communities.

Community CPR: A Critical Link in the Chain of Survival

We asked seven thought leaders to share their insights on community CPR. Read what they had to say about the importance of bystander CPR training.

How Laerdal can help

Community initiatives to increase CPR training as well as improve the quality of CPR delivered are critical to increasing survival. By implementing widespread programs to train CPR and providing frequent, high quality training that is systematically measured to guide performance, we can help save more lives, together.


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(1) CPR Facts and Stats.
(2) American Heart Association 2016 Hands-Only CPR Research Tracking Study