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American Red Cross encourages everyone to learn CPR/AED


WASHINGTON, Friday, May 2008 — Sudden cardiac arrest claims the lives of more than 166,000 people in this country every year. Sadly, an astonishing 94 percent of people who suffer sudden cardiac arrest die before reaching a hospital. If ordinary people act immediately with Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), instead of just waiting for help to arrive, many thousands of lives can be saved every year.

It can take emergency personnel precious minutes to arrive on the scene. For every minute without defibrillation, a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s chance of surviving drops. It is critical for as many people as possible to be trained to perform CPR and know how to use an AED until advanced help arrives.

American Red Cross training in CPR and proper use of an AED can provide people with the knowledge and confidence to respond during an emergency situation with skills that can help save a life. Red Cross recommends that at least one person in every household and place of business receive this training.

Congress has set aside June 1-7 as the first annual National CPR/AED Awareness Week to spotlight how lives can be saved if more Americans know CPR and how to use an AED. In the declaration, Congress is asking states and municipalities to make AEDs more publicly accessible. During this week, Red Cross chapters across the country will conduct CPR/AED classes and demonstrations, host events, and provide educational information on the importance of CPR and AED training. Red Cross joins the American Heart Association and National Safety Council in recognizing the significance of this week.

“American Red Cross training helps save lives at home, school and the workplace,” says Scott Conner, senior vice president for American Red Cross Preparedness and Health and Safety Services. “We are committed to saving lives, one by one, and improving the quality of life in communities nationwide.”

Last year 11 million people took Red Cross health and safety training. Whether you want to be able to help a loved one at home, help someone in your work place, or use your training professionally, Red Cross can give you the knowledge and skills to be able to help. To find out more, contact your local Red Cross chapter, or call 1-800 RED CROSS. You can see photos of Red Cross Celebrity Cabinet member and Arizona Cardinals Quarterback Matt Leinart receive training, view an online tutorial demonstrating CPR and AED techniques and see video accounts of real stories of lives saved by visiting


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