CPR and AED Awareness Week: ‘Always Call 911 if suffering heart attack’


ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — June 1-7 is National CPR and AED Awareness Week.

The American Heart Association wants people to take a few tips seriously to prevent dying from a heart attack.

One of the most important tips this year is to never hesitate calling 911 for help.

According to the association, many people are afraid to call for help or even go to the hospital because they believe they will not receive treatment due to coronavirus hospitilizations.

Doctors and nurses urge that is not true.

They encourage anyone to dial 911 either during an emergency or if someone is experiencing symptoms of a heart attack.

Seconds can be the difference between life and death.

“We don’t want people to be afraid to come to the hospital in an emergency situation,” said Melanie Johnson, an American Heart Association volunteer and cardiac nurse. “Calling 911 is the best thing you can do because it can literally save a life.”

Symptoms of cardiac arrest include:

  • Pain in your chest, arms, neck or back
  • Feeling weak
  • heavy sweating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Johnson says people should also take the time to learn how to perform CPR and use an automated external defibrillator (AED), which is an electronic device used to shock and re-establish the heart’s rhythm.

“With folks being able to do the hands only CPR, that can help increase the survival rate by about triple what it would be if you just waited for EMS to arrive,” she said.

According to the American Heart Association, 380,000 Americans suffer a heart attack every year.

  • 70% of people have heart attacks at home
  • 46% of people do not get help before first responders arrive

Here’s how you can get trained on CPR and using an AED.

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