Omaha Public Radio News
2:22 pm
Tue June 2, 2009

Red Cross urges training during CPR and AED Awareness Week

Omaha, NE – This week is CPR and AED Awareness Week.

The American Red Cross says 94 percent of people who suffer sudden cardiac arrest die before getting to a hospital. The Red Cross estimates that thousands of lives could be saved if individuals received CPR and AED training.

Brent Jensen is with the Heartland Chapter of the American Red Cross. He says many people don't get training because of the time involved. The Heartland Chapter offers a one-hour CPR Made Simple class to teach the basics of CPR and AED usage. More time-intensive training is available for people seeking certification. Jensen says the Red Cross wants AEDs to become as common in buildings as fire extinguishers.

A 2008 survey by the American Heart Association found that 70 percent of bystanders who respond to a cardiac emergency have little or no CPR or AED training. The AHA wants one million people to learn those skills.