In order to increase cardiac arrest victim survival rates and educate the public about the importance of emergency medical care, it’s critical to separate facts from myths. Here are some of the most common myths about CPR and First Aid certification, debunked.
1. You will get sued if you perform bystander CPR
If you provide emergency medical assistance with First Aid, CPR, or an AED, Good Samaritan laws will protect you, as long as you act reasonably and prudently. In cases where the rescuer was negligent, reckless, or abandoned the victim after providing initial care, courts have ruled that the Good Samaritan Law did not apply, however. Good Samaritan laws vary for each state, so be sure to understand your local guidelines.
2. You will kill someone if you perform CPR incorrectly
CPR will only help a victim of cardiac arrest. It does not have to be performed perfectly. It’s better to perform it imperfectly than not at all.
3. You can get a First Aid and CPR Certification online
While it’s true that you can complete modules of First Aid and CPR certification courses online, you must complete an in-person or remote skills session in order to receive a respected certification. Students are unable to experience the delivery of physical skills from a computer. So, eLearning is only effective when it’s combined with in-person skills training. There are many training courses that supposedly provide an “instant” online certification, but most of these certifications would not meet the requirements of an employer.
4. When you are alone with a victim and haven’t been trained in CPR, you shouldn’t attempt to perform it
The American Heart Association recommends that untrained bystanders perform compression-only CPR to “buy time” until emergency medical personnel arrive. When you call 911, the dispatcher will give you instructions over the phone on how to do chest compressions.
5. CPR classes are long and boring
If you take the time to choose an experienced instructor who teaches engaging classes, First Aid and CPR certification courses can actually be quite enjoyable. American Heart Association courses only last a few hours, so time will pass quickly if you choose the right instructor.
6. You can contract HIV/AIDS from performing CPR
Many people are reluctant to perform conventional CPR with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. They are scared that they will contract HIV/AIDS. The risk of this happening is minimal. HIV/AIDS can only be spread through direct contact with blood, semen, or vaginal fluid. If you’re still worried about it, you can always carry a special barrier device around with you in case you ever have to perform CPR. You can also perform just compressions instead.
7. CPR always works
Movies and TV would have you believe that CPR works every time, but unfortunately it doesn’t. By starting CPR on the victim within the first couple minutes of a cardiac arrest can double to triple their chances of survival. So learning to perform it is critical to increase the chance of a favorable outcome.