ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – If a loved one or even a stranger has a cardiac emergency would you know what to do? Knowing what to do can mean the difference between life and death. 

Dr. Karen Perkins is the Vice-Director of Compress and Shock Foundation and Michelle Musser is the Director of Community Engagement of Compress and Shock Foundation. They stopped by the WFXR News studios to demonstrate how you can save a life with CPR. You can watch the video above to see their demonstration.

The Compress and Shock Foundation is a Roanoke-based 501-c-3 non-profit founded in 2017. Dr. Pekins says its mission is to bring free and equitable access to CPR and AED education to all communities with a specific dedication to those communities most adversely affected by cardiac arrest due to race, ethnicity, primary language, or access to healthcare education. In fact, the foundation says it’s the only organization in the United States that provides both free CPR and AED Education and a FREE AED to its learned groups.

Dr. Perkins says the foundation is particularly excited because it received grant funding to put 80 AEDs into communities that align with its mission statement. She says statistics show more AEDs in the community equals more lives. According to her, the statistics illustrate 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur each year in the United States, and current neurologically intact survival (good brain function) rates hover at 10% and have not improved for over 20 years. 

Survival rates are even worse in non-white communities. However, with high-quality CPR and early use (under 3 minutes) of a defibrillator (AED) this number can rise as high as 70%. The AED market in the US is only about 10% saturated to date. 

Compress and Shock Foundation is hosting a FREE one-hour event on Saturday, June 3 with CPR and AED education to all ages 13 and up. There are classes offered all over Southwest Virginia, but the foundation will have classes in six other states! You can find a free class near you, HERE.