Heart Health Awareness in Louisville: Empowering Citizens with CPR Skills

There are many reasons why people should learn how to give CPR properly. Namely, this technique will not only save someone’s life but will also prevent brain damage and increase the survival rate of the cardiac arrest victim.

That said, Louisvillians can learn this technique by taking individual or group CPR classes and obtaining a CPR certification from the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross.

Below, we’ll talk more about heart health awareness in Louisville and walk you through the certification process and course options.

The Importance of Learning CPR Skills

Empowering citizens with CPR skills is vital for a community. Based on the research done by the Heart Failure Society of America, over 960,000 people in the US experience heart failure yearly. This percentage is higher in people who have a history of heart problems in the family, as well as in people older than 45 years.

What’s more, according to the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, the overall death rate linked to heart disease in 2011-2015 stood at 166.43 per 100,000 people.

CDC’s data shows us that learning this life-saving skill will not only improve heart health awareness in Louisville – it can also increase someone’s chances of survival by two or threefold, especially if performed in the first few minutes after cardiac arrest.

That said, learning CPR is not exclusively intended for health workers in Louisville. Anyone can learn how to perform CPR on victims of cardiac arrest without medical training. We recommend taking CPR classes, after which you’ll receive a CPR certificate, which brings us to the next section.

Types of CPR Courses Available in Louisville

Residents of Louisville can take 4 types of CPR courses – CPR Level A, CPR Level B, CPR Level C, and BLS (Basic Life Support). Some of these courses are intended for healthcare providers, while others can be attended by anyone. Here’s what you need to know about each course:

CPR Level A

CPR Level A is intended for lay rescuers since these courses implement basic techniques of performing CPR on adults. On that note, participants will learn how to administer basic First Aid and an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

CPR Level B

This course is all about learning how to perform CPR on infants and children, which makes it suitable for teachers and babysitters. On that note, level B participants will learn how to administer CPR and use AED on children.

While Level A and Level B may look similar at first glance, they are very different. Namely, since children and adults have different physiology, CPR won’t be performed in the same way. In other words, having a CPR Level B certificate does not authorize people to perform CPR on adults.

CPR Level C

This level can be described as a mixture of Level A and Level B classes. In other words, Level 3 participants will learn how to perform CPR on both adults and children. This class is intended for first responders, such as police, firefighters, and lifeguards.

BLS (Basic Life Support)

BLS classes are created for all healthcare providers and emergency medical personnel. These classes teach medical staff in training how to perform CPR on adults and children, as well as how to use an AED in pre-hospital and hospital settings.

How to Attend CPR Classes in Louisville

Residents of Louisville can take all four types of CPR classes by attending the American Red Cross or American Heart Association courses. They come in the form of in-person, online, or blended training:

In-Person Classes

In-person CPR courses are suitable for people who prefer traditional classroom-like classes during which they can interact with the instructors. These courses combine theory with practice.

Online Classes

Louisvillians can attend online CPR classes by signing up for an American Heart Association or American Red Cross online course. These types of courses are divided into interactive modules that participants can attend at their convenience.

Students will also get a downloadable manual. However, they won’t be able to demonstrate practical skills.

Blended Classes

Blended courses incorporate both online and in-person training, which means that participants will be able to complete part of the training online, while the other part of the course will be dedicated to an in-person hands-on skills session.

CPR Tests

CPR exams are divided into two parts – written tests and skills tests. In the written test, students will have to answer multiple-choice questions related to the basics of CPR, such as when and how to perform CPR or what is the recommended rate of chest compressions.

The second part of the test is related to practice, i.e., applying CPR on a manikin, which includes administering chest compressions and rescue breaths.

The tests will be reviewed by a certified expert who will then assess the student’s knowledge and skill in performing CPR. For successful completion of the CPR course, the student will receive a CPR certificate valid for 2 years.

How Long Do CPR Classes Take to Complete?

The duration of the CPR training will depend on the student, the type of course, and the certification level. With that in mind, the classes of first-time students will last much longer than the classes of students who need to recertify their diplomas.

Moreover, in-person courses usually last more, between 2.5 and 3 hours, while online classes last less, between 30 to 90 minutes. Finally, the basic CPR and AED classes usually take less time to complete compared to advanced classes intended for professional health care providers.

For example, ARC’s basic CPR and AED classes take between 2.5 and 3 hours, whereas their advanced CPR and AED classes take about 5 hours to complete.

At the same time, AHA’s BLS classes take between 4 and 5 hours, whereas their ACLS classes take between 12 and 16 hours to complete.

How Long Are CPR Certificates Valid in Louisville?

CPR certificates, whether obtained through AHA or ARC, will be valid for two years. This means that Louisville residents will have to renew their certificates every two years. CPR certifications are accepted by:

      • Hospitals

      • Nursing Schools

      • EMT/Paramedic Companies

      • Home Health Aides

      • Private and Public Schools

      • Personal Training Facilities and Gyms

      • Nonprofit organizations

      • Firefighting Municipalities

      • Construction Sites.

    Is There a Minimum Age Requirement for Learning CPR?

    Although neither the AHA nor the ARC imposes an age limit for learning CPR, studies show us that children under the age of 13 are not the most successful in performing chest compressions. Since this technique is based on physical strength, we can come to the conclusion that the most suitable age for learning CPR is 13 years and up.

    However, if the students can understand all the information related to CPR and pass the test, they will obtain a CPR certificate, regardless of their age.

    How Does CPR Stand With the Law?

    People who don’t have a CPR certificate can also perform this life-saving technique in emergencies. Thanks to the Good Samaritan Law, the person who performs CPR will not be prosecuted if the victim dies during the process.

    In other words, this law empowers all citizens to perform CPR on victims of heart failure, regardless of whether they have a CPR certificate. On the other hand, bystanders can be sued for negligence if they ignore the victim or purposely hurt them.

    Mind that CPR performers could face a lawsuit if they try to help a victim who has a DNR or do-not-resuscitate order. The DNR order is a document in which the patient states that they don’t want to receive CPR. This document is issued by a doctor and is valid before the law.

    On that note, under Kentucky law, emergency medical services may not withhold assistance from victims who don’t have a Kentucky Emergency Medical Services Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order. Furthermore, EMS must have access to the original form of the order, not a copy, when they arrive on the scene. On top of that, the DNR order will only apply if the patient stops breathing or their heart stops beating.

    Heart Health Awareness in Louisville: Empowering Citizens with CPR Skills – Conclusion

    To conclude, recognizing the signs of heart failure in time and implementing CPR in the first few minutes will increase the victim’s chances of survival by two to three times. These signs usually include shortness of breath, chest pain, or swelling in the legs.

    Louisville citizens can get CPR training according to the level of knowledge they want to obtain. There’s also a course option for medical staff in training, which involves more specialized knowledge.

    Finally, the course options are endless – depending on your schedule, you can sign up for an online, in-person, or even hybrid class.