DALLAS, TX – Most U.S. employees are not prepared to handle cardiac emergencies in the workplace because they lack training in CPR and First Aid, according to new survey results from the American Heart Association (AHA), the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease.
Two surveys reveal most workers do not have access to CPR and First Aid training, and half could not locate an automated external defibrillator (AED) at work – prompting the AHA to announce today a new campaign to promote First Aid, CPR and AED training in the workplace as well as public access to AEDs.
Such training has the potential to save thousands of lives, considering there are 10,000 cardiac arrests in the workplace annually. Cardiac arrests occur when the heart suddenly stops beating, and survival chances outside the hospital can double or triple when CPR is immediately performed by a bystander.
More than 3,000 workers in various fields were surveyed between February and April 2017. In addition to 2,000 employees in corporate offices, hospitality, education and industry/labor, more than 1,000 safety managers in industries regulated by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) were also surveyed.
Some key findings from the employee study, commissioned by AHA and conducted by Edelman Intelligence:
- More than half (55 percent) cannot get First Aid or CPR+AED training from their employer – and even if employers do offer this training, it’s often either one or the other.
- Half of all U.S. workers (50 percent) cannot locate the AED at work. In the hospitality industry, that number rises to two-thirds (66 percent).
“The data suggests these untrained employees may be relying on their untrained peers in the event of an emergency, leaving employees with a false sense of security that someone in the workplace will be qualified and able to respond, when that is clearly not the case,” said Michael Kurz, MD, co-chair of the AHA’s Systems of Care Subcommittee and associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine.