Unfortunately for millions of people around the globe and more than 360,000 North Americans every year who have out-of-hospital cardiac arrests or OHCAs, your average bystander isnt prepared to administer CPR, and the chances of pulling through an on-the-street heart attack are not great. In Detroit, OHCAs have a 0.2 percent survival rate. In Seattle (the U.S. gold standard), survival rates still hit only 16 percent.
What improves survival rates, according to a Danish study, is a public education push that teaches how and when to do CPR, along with smarter medical-response procedures. Danish efforts have elevated their OHCA survival rate to an impressive 44 percent.
For you to help improve OHCA survival rates, here are CPR basics:
First, call 911; then start chest compressions. No need to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Hands-only CPR is the most effective technique for saving lives in real-life OHCA situations.
Place one flat hand over the center of the victims chest and your other open hand on top of that. Press down hard (chest should depress 2 inches) for 100 beats a minute. If someones available, have that person count with you.
Stick with it until help arrives, and ask someone else to relieve you if you get worn out.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of The Dr. Oz Show, and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.