Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in the United States. A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) finds depending on where you live, you may be less likely to survive.
Researchers at the University of Washington analyzed data from more than 20,000 cases of cardiac arrests that happened outside the hospital. And they found that in only about half the cases did someone try to intervene and resuscitate the patient. They also found that whether people responded depended greatly on the community and whether the people there were encouraged to react to an emergency.
"Some communities may need to train more of the public to recognize and respond to medical emergencies. Other communities may need to focus on improving their local organized emergency response," said Dr. Graham Nichol from the University of Washington.
Researchers found that overall only about a quarter of patients in the study received CPR from a bystander, partly because many are not trained in CPR and fear they may do more harm than good by trying to help.
If you'd like to learn more about CPR, the Red Cross encourages families to learn together. And they make classes available to the public regularly. Just call the Red Cross for more information.