When a heart stops beating, the person is considered to be in cardiac arrest. This occurs when the heart cannot pump blood to the rest of the body, including vital organs like the brain and lungs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests happen outside of hospitals each year, and about seven in 10 of those take place at home. In addition, nine in 10 people who have a cardiac arrest outside of the hospital die.
However, when cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) – an emergency procedure executed when the heart stops beating – is performed within minutes, it can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.
“CPR is critical to help save a life if somebody has a cardiac arrest,” Farhan Bhanji, MD, associate professor of pediatrics, member of the Centre for Medical Education, and American Heart Association volunteer, told Seasons. “If you don’t do CPR, the likelihood is that they’re unfortunately going to die.”
Because research has shown that it’s safe to perform CPR, especially on a senior, now is the time to learn how and where you can receive training.
Types of CPR training and where to sign up
Dawn DuBois, MHS, Director of St. Luke’s Community Outreach, told Seasons different types of CPR training are available, and each class requires different skills and time commitments.
Here’s a list of places to receive CPR training and certification:
The AHA is a world leader in CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) training and education. Caregivers can go online and type in a city or ZIP code to find an in-person class near them. From a list of training centers offered in your area, you can select the one that’s right for you and call the location for details on cost, availability and scheduling. The AHA also offers CPR courses and other training to employers, first responders, schools and the general public. Visit the AHA’s course catalog to learn more.
The American Red Cross offers CPR training taught by experts online, in-person and a mix of both. Caregivers can find a CPR certification class near them by going online and entering their location. Prices range from $35 to $126. The American Red Cross also offers CPR for children and babies.
- Local fire department
Most fire departments offer regular CPR classes. Caregivers can contact their local station to see what they have available for you, including information on classes, price and certification.
According to the AHA, students can learn CPR through their local school district or university. Trainers will use training kits to teach students hands-on CPR and other lifesaving skills. The kits are easy to use and allow experts to train 10 to 20 students in one class period.
- Employer/HR department
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends (but does not require) that every workplace include one or more employees who are trained and certified in first aid, including CPR. Some employers may offer CPR training or may reimburse you for the cost of a course. Talk with your employer or HR representative to discuss if CPR training is offered at your workplace or if costs are reimbursed for taking a class elsewhere.
- Health departments
Lastly, several health departments offer American Heart Association-certified CPR training at their facilities. Just call to see what classes are offered and when.
Beyond these resources, there are many other websites and places that offer CPR training. People should make sure any CPR training found online or offered on-site is approved by the American Heart Association or American Red Cross.
According to the AHA, CPR certifications are valid for two years through the end of the month of when a course completion card was issued.
“It can help someone you know, someone you love, and you want to be there to give them the best chance that they possibly can when a cardiac arrest happens,” Bhanji said. “You want to know that you can do your best for your loved ones in that circumstance.”