CPR Mobile Phone Apps Save Lives by Reducing Fear of Failure It is impossible to do under pressure what you have not practiced and mentally visualized a thousand times relaxed. Unpracticed CPR skills can dissipate within weeks, even for healthcare professionals. Without additional opportunity to review and reinforce CPR skills, an intensive four-hour basic CPR certification course is of diminishing value over time. CPR Training applications for the BlackBerry and iPhone opens a new, easy-to-use, avenue to refresh and review skills proven to save lives. According to the American Heart Association, there are more 300,000 deaths a year from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) alone. These numbers are not just elderly folks with known heart disease. Sudden Cardiac Arrest strikes without warning. Each year, SCA is responsible for deaths of many who appear otherwise healthy, including young promising athletes, dancers, runners, and others who literally “drop dead.” Equipping the public with skills and competency to perform basic life-sustaining CPR could double or triple the number of cardiac event survivors. Seconds count when someone has stopped breathing. With every second on the line, could you confidently leap to action, if a friend or loved one stopped breathing? There is no time to hesitate if you are first on the scene. It is the difference between life and death, and potentially the difference between a return to full function or permanent brain damage. Less than seven minutes without oxygen to the brain can spell permanent brain-damage or diminished functional capacity. Even the speediest Emergency Medical Services (EMS) rarely arrives on scene within those decisive seven minutes. Survival rates fall 7% to 10% for each minute without CPR. Yet, studies suggest only 15% to 30% of cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR before EMS personnel arrive at the scene.i Why? What could explain such relatively few attempts to resuscitate? When someone is already not breathing, what is there to lose? Why aren’t more bystanders attempting CPR? Various theories attempt to explain why bystanders hesitate to initiate CPR or even AED (automated external defibrillation). Researchers hypothesized bystanders failed to perform CPR for fear of incurring legal liability; however, the passage in most states of "Good Samaritan" legislation limiting liability

for rescuers has all but eliminated that concern. Researchers also theorized bystander reluctance stemmed from fear of exposure to infectious disease performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Recent surveys of people actually on the scene witnessing a cardiac event debunked that theory. Studies found one obstacle to the initiation of CPR is the complexity of following CPR guidelines, but even that is not the number one reason so few bystanders step up to perform CPR. Astoundingly, in surveys of actual bystanders to cardiac arrest, the most often-cited reason for declining to initiate CPR is “fear of failure.” This lack of confidence or fear of incorrectly performing CPR cost precious moments that could mean the difference between life and death. CPR Training readily available as a phone app, translates into an effortless opportunity to frequently review life-saving skills, so when an emergency arises, bystanders can jump in more confidently during those key moments awaiting professional medical services. In short, CPR Training for the iPhone and BlackBerry can save lives by helping to reduce or eliminate the fear of failure.

i(Abella, Aufderheide and Eigel)

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