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For American Heart Month, it’s time for a heart-to-heart on CPR

Giving Hands-On CPR

February is American Heart Month, and here’s an attention grabber to kick things off: About 90% of the 350,000 people in the U.S. who experience cardiac arrest outside the hospital each year will not survive.(1)

That’s why the American Heart Association, as part of its American Heart Month 2024 efforts, is putting some muscle (heart muscle, that is) behind a renewed focus on CPR.

Virtually all Americans have heard of CPR and probably have a mental image of what’s involved, but the results of a recent American Heart Association survey found that while increased visibility of CPR has positively impacted bystanders’ willingness to respond to a sudden cardiac arrest emergency, a significant gap in the general public’s CPR skills remains.

The survey, conducted last fall, found that 35% of respondents said they have the confidence to perform CPR when needed – up from 30% in 2021; however, only 39% said they’re familiar with conventional CPR and only 23% with Hands-Only CPR.

The importance of bystanders to be able to respond effectively to cardiac arrest can’t be overstated. Remember, when seconds matter, EMS is typically minutes away.

While there’s work to be done to close the knowledge gap, the good news is there’re plenty of great resources available to help - including classes in your area that teach CPR and other potentially life-saving skills, such as using an AED, or automatic external defibrillator.

Starting Hearts offers a range of powerful educational tools for students of all ages – from kindergartners to senior citizens - to improve outcomes for sudden cardiac arrest victims. The Starting Hearts class calendar lists upcoming opportunities.


A bit more on American Heart Month:

February has been designated American Heart Month for nearly 60 years – and for good reason. Someone in the U.S. dies of cardiovascular disease, or CVD, every 34 seconds. That's more than 2,500 deaths per day.

Tomorrow, Feb. 2, is National Wear Red Day® - part of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Initiative. Look for news anchors, online communities – even landmarks – to be decked out in red. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women, accounting for 1 in 3 deaths each year.

We’ll be writing more about heart health in recognition of American Heart Month, so be sure to check back for new content!

Need more information? Contact Starting Hearts at @[email protected].


(1)Tsao, C., Aday A., Almarzoog, Z., Alonzo, A. (2022) Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2022 Update: A report from the American Heart Association Circulation, e153-e639