We’ve all been invited to product parties. There’s Pampered Chef, Tupperware, Thirty-One, and Tastefully Simple—just to name a few. But have you ever been invited to a CPR party? The concept of CPR parties was created by a mom in Maryland whose 3-year-old son’s life was saved by CPR after he nearly drowned.
If you come upon someone who is in cardiac arrest, will you know what to do? Any of us can suddenly find ourselves in this situation and have the opportunity to help save a life. Check out these sobering statistics from the American Heart Association:
- 70% of Americans either never learned CPR or have forgotten how to do it.
- Only 32% of cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR.
- Immediate bystander CPR can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.
I’ve been called upon to do CPR on two occasions over the years. The first time I performed CPR was when I was working as a nursing assistant at the hospital in my home town. A patient went into cardiac arrest, and I performed rescue breathing while a nurse did chest compressions until the “crash team” arrived.
Since this was a small town, nearly everyone knew everybody else. Although I didn’t know this man personally, I knew who he was and where he worked. About a month after doing CPR, I met the man while walking down the street on my way to the grocery store. He looked healthy and happy. Of course, he didn’t recognize me, but it gave me such a great feeling to know that I had a part in saving this man’s life.
The second time I performed CPR didn’t turn out quite so well. This time the cardiac arrest happened to an elderly woman at the nursing home where I worked as an RN. Another nurse and I did 2-person CPR until the EMT’s arrived and were able to resuscitate her. Unfortunately, she later died at the hospital. Even though it ended in a sad outcome, I’m grateful that we were there and knew what to do to give her a fighting chance.
So, how can you host a CPR party to be sure you and your friends are prepared to help someone in cardiac arrest? A few companies are springing up around the country that specialize in CPR parties. However, you can also find a certified instructor through your local chapter of the Red Cross, American Heart Association, or ambulance service. In addition to CPR, some parties include other emergency topics such as first aid or earthquake readiness.
CPR parties generally include around 5-20 people, and they’re usually held in the comfort and privacy of someone’s home. However, they can also be held at a church, community center, or you could host one at your nursing home. Costs vary a lot depending on where you live, how many topics you feature in your class, and whether or not CPR certification is offered.
Of course, just as with any type of party, you’ll want to provide food. This could be anything from appetizers, to pizza, to a potluck. Some parties also have a theme such as heart-healthy foods.
Have you ever attended a CPR party? Please tell us about your experience in the comment section!