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Survey finds many Americans afraid to perform CPR

 Apr 05, 2017 | Katherine Davis
 A new survey organized by the American Heart Association (AHA) found that only half of Americans would be willing to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in an emergency because of fears that they wouldn’t do it correctly.

Of the 1,200 survey respondents, 61 percent of them worry that they would unintentionally injure the victim if they tried to perform CPR, and the concern was highest among racial minorities. Seventy percent of black people, 67 percent of Asians and 64 percent of Hispanics reported that they have this concern, while only 59 percent of Caucasians reported they did.

The survey also revealed that some people who are educated on how to properly perform CPR still refrain from the task even during an emergency. About 13 percent of respondents said they had recently been in a situation where they could have performed CPR, but opted not to, a statistic that is up 4 percent from 2014.

“Your patient in front of you is going through the worst thing that somebody could endure–no signs of life,” said Gustavo E. Flores, MD, director and chief instructor at Emergency & Critical Care Trainings in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in a statement. “If your patient is in … sudden cardiac arrest, there’s nothing you can do that can make him worse.”

Performing CPR on someone in cardiac arrest can double or triple a person’s chance of survival, especially if it’s done during the first few minutes of onset.

Healthcare experts have long advocated for an increase in CPR training, and the majority of respondents, about 90 percent, supported that notion. Many states, including Michigan and South Dakota, have already mandated this.