Skills to save a life are easily available

Oct. 8 2014

Royal Purple Editorial Staff Opinion

You are sitting in class taking notes when suddenly you hear a thumping. Looking up you realize the noise is coming from the student next to you. As the student’s gaze is fixed, movements rigid, what can you do?

In that moment of life or death, do you have the skills to save your peer? Would the professor be able to save them? Would anyone in the entire academic building be able to assist?

Knowledge of CPR is more important than most realize. Seventy percent of the population would be helpless in a cardiac emergency, according to American Heart Association’s information.

Not enough people are trained to help someone who has stopped breathing. The majority of people shrug off the skill, thinking any help a person might need will come from trained professionals. There’s no need to use CPR if someone else will do it.

If that mindset rests in every individual, though, problems will arise. Everyone will be under the impression that someone else will handle the situation. If everyone thinks this, who is going to help?
A person may be dying, and if no one is willing to save the individual — if everyone is standing around just waiting on someone else to do it — a life could be unnecessarily lost.

This is the precise reason why there’s no excuse not to be trained in CPR.

A common thought humans share is that certain situations “won’t happen to me.” News of terrible accidents may flash across the television screen, but no matter how random they are and how ordinary the people dealing with the accidents may have been, people will always think it won’t happen to them.

By nature, we like to avoid scenarios that make us uncomfortable — convince ourselves that we’ll never be put into an unwanted situation like that.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

The reason CPR training is so important is because life is unpredictable. It’s foolish to think a situation where someone’s life is on the line will never arise in the most public places.

Someone could have a heart attack at any time.

Someone could choke at any time.

The time and place where it occurs doesn’t matter. What matters is who is willing and has the capability to help.

This problem hits especially close to home when considering that 88% of incidents happen in the household. The life on the line could very easily be a loved one.

If saving a stranger’s life isn’t convincing enough, then saving the life of family should be.

That being said, everyone should at least have some knowledge of how to perform CPR.

While the most common excuse is that someone else trained in CPR will be around to help, another excuse is that people don’t know where to take these classes. It’s one thing to intend on taking a class, but another thing to actually go through with a class.

If someone can’t find a means of learning within the first few minutes of searching, they usually won’t go too far out of their way to continue looking.

UW-Whitewater offers CPR classes on campus — a convenience especially for students who have no means of transportation but wish to be educated.

The course takes approximately four hours, and a minimum of four people is needed for the training session to take place. Forms are available under “University Police and Security” on UW-W’s website. Both faculty and students can sign up.

With these courses so readily available, there’s no excuse for students and staff to avoid training that could potentially save someone’s life — whether that be a stranger or a friend.

A life is a life no matter how you look at it. If everyone stands around idly waiting for someone else to be the hero, no one is going to.

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