DALLAS, January 31, 2023 — According to the most recently published scientific data, about 90% of the 350,000 people who experience a cardiac arrest outside of the hospital each year will not survive. Less than half of people who need it receive the immediate help that they need before professional help arrives. To help close this gap, the American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all, is challenging every household to have someone who knows CPR, to Be The Beat for their family, friends and their community during American Heart Month which kicks off February 1st.
CPR – or cardiopulmonary resuscitation – is an emergency lifesaving procedure performed when the heart stops beating. Recent high profile cardiac arrest events have resulted in a cultural moment, capturing popular attention and creating a unique opportunity to significantly drive interest in CPR.
“Since nearly 3 out of 4 cardiac arrests that do not happen in a hospital, occur in the home, if you are called on to give CPR in an emergency, you will most likely be trying to save the life of someone you know or love,” said American Heart Association volunteer President Michelle A. Albert, M.D., M.P.H., FAHA, the Walter A. Haas-Lucie Stern endowed chair in Cardiology, professor of medicine and admissions dean at University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine. “Immediate CPR can double or triple chances of survival after cardiac arrest. Keeping the blood flow active – even partially – extends the opportunity for a successful resuscitation once trained medical staff arrive on site.”
There are two commonly known versions of CPR. Healthcare providers and those who have been trained follow conventional CPR using chest compressions and rescue breathing. The general public or bystanders who see a teen or adult suddenly collapse at home, work or elsewhere, can use compression-only CPR, or Hands-Only CPR, compressions without mouth-to-mouth breaths. The Association still recommends CPR with compressions and breaths for infants and children and victims of drowning, drug overdose or people who collapse due to breathing problems.
“Women and Black and Hispanic/Latino Americans are less likely to receive CPR from bystanders. The American Heart Association is working to change this by empowering members of these communities to learn lifesaving Hands-Only CPR,” said Albert. “When people learn Hands-Only CPR, they see how simple the technique is and gain comfort that may help them overcome concerns that previously may have caused them to hesitate - rather than take life-saving action - in an emergency.”
Additionally, researchers have determined that language barriers for non-English 9-1-1 callers and challenges from a lack of bilingual dispatchers during dispatcher-identified cardiac arrest are also associated with less frequent bystander CPR, as well as delays in both cardiac arrest recognition and implementation of telecommunicator CPR.
According to data compiled by the American Heart Association, men are more likely to receive bystander CPR in public locations compared to women. Women and men receive similar CPR assistance within the home, but in public 45% of men received assistance compared to only 39% of women. In fact, for men, their chance of survival was 23% higher compared to women. So why the discrepancy? It could come down to anatomy and a bystander being comfortable enough to perform CPR on a woman.
TAKE THE CPR CHALLENGE
When seconds matter most, CPR can be the difference in whether your friends and family survive. But not everyone knows how to perform CPR. The American Heart Association is challenging every household or family to have at least one person who knows CPR. Hands-Only CPR has just two simple steps, performed in this order: 1) Call 911 if you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse; and 2) Push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of a familiar song that has 100 to 120 beats per minute. Some examples are “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z, “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira” or “Walk the Line” by Johnny Cash.
Families can also watch a 90-second Hands-Only CPR instructional video and share it. Or, find a nearby class to take a course to learn the lifesaving skills of CPR, first aid, and AED.
- Multimedia may be downloaded from the right column of the release link https://newsroom.heart.org/news/challenge-issued-to-be-the-beat-and-learn-cpr-during-american-heart-month?preview=681194cfe35d1cfcc77f2cc04be78daa
- Spanish news release
- Understanding the Importance of the Lay Responder Experience in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association
- Difference in Cardiac Arrest vs. Heart Attack
- Learn Hands-Only CPR/use an AED (English, Spanish, Mandarin)
- Video: Barry Gibb of the BeeGees and teenage CPR rescuer Savennah Mendes-Rodrigues receive Heartsaver Hero Award
- AHA health information: Bystander CPR
- AHA health information: Bystander CPR Infographic
- AHA health information: Hands-Only CPR Resources
- Follow AHA/ASA news on Twitter @HeartNews
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
For Media Inquiries: 214-706-1173
Tracie Bertaut: 504-722-1695; Tracie.Bertaut@heart.org
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
 Connie W. Tsao, MD, MPH, FAHA, Chair, Aaron W. Aday, MD, MSc, FAHA, Zaid I. Almarzooq, MB, BCH, Alvaro Alonso, MD, PhD, FAHA, Andrea Z. Beaton, MD, MS, FAHA, Marcio S. Bittencourt, MD, PhD, MPH, FAHA, Amelia K. Boehme, PhD, MSPH, Alfred E. Buxton, MD, April P. Carson, PhD, MSPH, FAHA, Yvonne Commodore-Mensah, PhD, MHS, RN, FAHA, Mitchell S.V. Elkind, MD, MS, FAHA, Kelly R. Evenson, PhD, MS, FAHA, Chete Eze-Nliam, MD, MPH, Jane F. Ferguson, PhD, FAHA, Giuliano Generoso, MD, PhD, Jennifer E. Ho, MD, FAHA, Rizwan Kalani, MD, Sadiya S. Khan, MD, MSc, FAHA, Brett M. Kissela, MD, MS, FAHA, Kristen L. Knutson, PhD, Deborah A. Levine, MD, MPH, Tené T. Lewis, PhD, FAHA, Junxiu Liu, PhD, Matthew Shane Loop, PhD, FAHA, Jun Ma, , MD, PhD, FAHA, Michael E. Mussolino, PhD, FAHA, Sankar D. Navaneethan, MD, MS, MPH, Amanda Marma Perak, MD, MS, FAHA, Remy Poudel, MS, MPH, CPH, Mary Rezk-Hanna, PhD, FAHA, Gregory A. Roth, MD, MPH, FAHA, Emily B. Schroeder, MD, PhD, FAHA, Svati H. Shah, MD, MHS, FAHA, Evan L. Thacker, PhD, Lisa B. VanWagner, MD, MSc, FAHA, Salim S. Virani, MD, PhD, FAHA, Jenifer H. Voecks, PhD, Nae-Yuh Wang, PhD, MS, FAHA, Kristine Yaffe, MD, Seth S. Martin, MD, MHS, FAHA, Vice Chair, on behalf of the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2022 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2022; e153-e639. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000001052
 Tsao CW, Aday AW, Almarzooq ZI, Anderson CAM, Arora P, Avery CL, Baker-Smith CM, Beaton AZ, Boehme AK, Buxton AE, Commodore-Mensah Y, Elkind MSV, Evenson KR, Eze-Nliam C, Fugar S, Generoso G, Heard DG, Hiremath S, Ho JE, Kalani R, Kazi DS, Ko D, Levine DA, Liu J, Ma J, Magnani JW, Michos ED, Mussolino ME, Navaneethan SD, Parikh NI, Poudel R, Rezk-Hanna M, Roth GA, Shah NS, St-Onge M-P, Thacker EL, Virani SS, Voeks JH, Wang N-Y, Wong ND, Wong SS, Yaffe K, Martin SS; on behalf of the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2023 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2023;147:e•••–e•••. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000001123