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African American Community and CPR

Updated: Feb 2, 2020

I am going to get right to it. Black people suffer from heart disease more than people from other races. There are a few factors that play into that so if you’re interested in learning more about this, please click here: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/consumer-healthcare/what-is-cardiovascular-disease/african-americans-and-heart-disease-stroke. This blog post is about Black people and the very real need for the life-saving skills of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, or CPR. In our community, CPR is not a highly sought after skill and, as is the case in other communities, so many people lose their lives needlessly when the individual could have been saved or given a chance at survival had CPR been administered.

CPR is easy to learn and having this skill can literally be the difference between the life and death of a loved one should they suffer a cardiac emergency in your presence as it increases the chances of survival. When someone suffers a cardiac arrest, it is essential to start CPR within the next two minutes. Damage to the brain begins after three minutes without oxygen. After 6 minutes, the lack of oxygen to the brain, which is carried in the blood, can lead to irreversible damage. CPR is truly a life-saving skill that everyone should learn especially if you have a spouse, children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Yes, children suffer cardiac emergencies just like adults do. CPR for children is performed differently in some ways but, basically, it is the same. Performing high quality CPR on a victim helps to create blood flow for the heart to use to restore proper function to the body and, most notably, the brain, again, by supplying required oxygen.

Studies show that Black people are half as likely to have CPR performed on them should they suffer a cardiac emergency in their home or neighborhood than White people in their neighborhood. I hope to see a drastic change in these statistics in the years to come.

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