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Susan's Story: CPR Training Can Save Lives

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Sudden Cardiac Arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

It's what almost claimed the life of KDKA-TV News Anchor Susan Koeppen. But, she is alive in part to the quick action of some passers-by who performed CPR.

On Nov. 20, Susan was running with friends when she suffered Cardiac Arrest.

Ninety-five percent of people who suffer Cardiac Arrest outside of a hospital setting die. But Susan survived because of CPR and the use of an AED (Automated External Defibrillator).

The statistics are staggering, four out of five Cardiac Arrests happen in the home. Also, 19 out of 20 victims die, and only 30 percent of Americans are trained in CPR.

The American Red Cross trains more than four million people in CPR each year.

With their help, Susan and seven of her friends are now certified in CPR and in the use of an AED. On Jan. 31, they took a four hour course led by instructor John Ignatius.

If you are called upon to perform CPR, chances are it will involve a loved one.

"It will be someone very close, someone you know very well and someone that you happen to care a lot about," says Ignatius.

The rules of how to give CPR have changed over the years.

After you assess the scene and confirm the victim is unconscious and not breathing, you give 30 compressions to the chest and then two breaths.

On an adult, the compressions should be at least two inches deep.

According to Ignatius, "Your main thing will be compressions on the chest... hard and fast to pump that blood as best you can to keep that brain alive."

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is one of the leading a causes of death in the United States. It can strike anyone, at any time.

CPR is a crucial step in saving a victim, and so is the use of an Automated External Defibrillator.

"Doing nothing guarantees one thing -- a trip to the morgue. Doing something you are giving the person a chance for life," says Ignatius.




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