How long does a CPR course take?

It varies from course to course and what components are being taught. Class participation and skills test can add more time or less time depending on class size. Please check each individual class for approximate time frames.

How long is my Course Completion Card valid for?

All American Heart Association courses are good for two years and expire the end of the month in which they were issued.

What does AED stand for?

It stands for Automated External Defibrillator. It is a device used to shock the heart when in cardiac arrest.

What does CPR stand for?

It stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is the skill needed when a person is in cardiac arrest to provide blood flow to the heart and brain.

What is cardiac arrest?

Cardiac arrest is caused when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions. It strikes immediately and without warning. Cardiac arrest death results when the heart suddenly stops working properly. This is caused by abnormal, or irregular, heart rhythms (called arrhythmias). The most common arrhythmia in cardiac arrest is ventricular fibrillation. This is when the heart’s lower chambers suddenly start beating chaotically and don’t pump blood. Death occurs within minutes after the heart stops. Cardiac arrest may be reversed if CPR is performed or a AED is used to shock the heart and restore a normal heart rhythm within a few minutes.

Is a heart attack the same as cardiac arrest?

No. The term “heart attack” is often mistakenly used to describe sudden cardiac arrest. While a heart attack may cause cardiac arrest and sudden death, the terms don’t mean the same thing. Heart attacks are caused by a blockage that stops blood flow to the heart. A heart attack (or myocardial infarction) refers to death of heart muscle tissue due to the loss of blood supply, not necessarily resulting in the death of the heart attack victim.

What are the warning signs of a heart attack?

Chest pain possibly spreading to the left or right arm, neck, jaw, or center of the back, shortness of breath, heavy sweating and nausea. Do not hesitate to take action for anyone experiencing signs or symptoms and call 911 right away.

Can I be sued for performing CPR or First Aid?

Majority of states have Good Samaritan Laws in place that protect those who render emergency care in rare instances. Consult your local/state laws for actual interpretation.

What are the risks of being infected with a communicable disease while giving CPR or First Aid (i.e.HIV)?

There is always a risk; however, it is extremely low. All of our courses stress the importance of being prepared by carrying barrier devices and other protective equipment with you at all times.