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Despite bystander CPR making ‘incredible difference’ in emergencies, many people aren’t prepared to help: survey

November 21, 2019

Denver — More than 2 out of 5 adults feel unprepared to administer compression-only CPR during a medical emergency, according to the results of a recent survey commissioned by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Researchers surveyed a national sample of 2,201 adults to gauge respondents’ readiness to assist in medical emergencies. They found that 41% of respondents said they lack confidence in their ability to perform CPR on the scene. In 2014, nearly 45% of people who experienced out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survived after bystanders administered CPR, the American Heart Association notes.

Other findings:

  • 61% of the respondents say they feel unprepared to use an AED.
  • 51% aren’t prepared to control severe bleeding.
  • 49% aren’t prepared to move endangered victims to safety.
  • The primary reasons cited for their uneasiness to respond were lack of medical training and fear of worsening the situation.

“Anyone can become a first responder in an emergency,” ACEP President William Jaquis said in a press release. “The first person on the scene of a medical emergency is rarely a medical professional, and there are a few basic skills that anyone can learn that could save a life or significantly improve the chances of survival while waiting for professionals to arrive.”

The survey results were unveiled Oct. 28 during ACEP’s annual scientific assembly in Denver.