Today, the American Red Cross announced that it will train 5 million people in hands-only CPR in 2011. Hands-only (or “compression only”) CPR is easy to learn and- if used in an emergency situation by a bystander- can vastly improve chances of survival for someone suffering cardiac arrest.
Education is key. Get trained and encourage friends and family to do so as well. You never know when you may have to save a life.
Red Cross worker Anita Foster from the Dallas Area chapter has seen first hand how one person can inspire many others to get trained.
A year and a half ago, Afoluke Latinwo’s best friend in Nigeria died from sudden cardiac arrest. When Latinwo attended the funeral, she discovered that no one in her native town knew how to perform CPR.
A trained pharmacist working in the United States, Latinwo, a Nigerian native with duel citizenship, had taken so many CPR courses over the years that they just seemed routine.
Not able to shake the thought that her friend might still be alive if anyone in her Nigerian village had been CPR trained, Latinwo quit her job as a pharmacist and enrolled in a CPR and First Aid Instructor course at the Red Cross in Dallas. On Thursday, she will move back to Nigeria to become a full time CPR and First Aid instructor. Her greatest hope is that she can spare someone else the pain of losing a loved one.