Less than 3 percent of Americans are trained in CPR. If someone were having a heart attack right in front of you, would you know what to do?
On Thursday, Dr. David Markenson, an emergency response advisor with the American Red Cross and chief medical officer of the Sky Ridge Medical Center/HealthONECares, showed TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen how to save the life of someone having a heart attack, when seconds count:
- First call 911. Emergency help will then be on its way.
- If the victim is awake and can swallow, give them aspirin to save their life.
- Know where the nearest automatic external defibrillator (AED) is and follow the step-by-step instructions. Most workplaces have AEDs and the instructions are clear and easy to follow.
- If there's no AED nearby, CPR is the key thing. If the victim is unresponsive and not breathing, push the center of the chest hard and fast. Keep the blood flowing. It's not important to be perfect; doing something is better than doing nothing.
Dr. Markenson said kids as young as 4 years old can follow these steps, and should be taught.
You can also download the Red Cross first aid app so instructions are on your phone if someone has a heart attack right in front of you.