STUDY: Most Americans Are Afraid To Perform CPR In An Emergency

Only half of Americans can be counted on to perform CPR in an emergency, a new survey finds.

Even more – 61 percent – worry they could unintentionally injure the victim. It’s a concern highest among minorities: 70 percent of African-Americans, 67 percent of Asians and 64 percent of Hispanics think they could injure the person, compared with 59 percent of Caucasians. Hispanics are also more likely than Caucasians to believe special training and certification are required to perform Hands-Only CPR.

The 2016 online survey of nearly 1,200 adults was commissioned by the American Heart Association. The Hands-Only CPR survey has been conducted since 2009.

American Heart Association CPR survey infograhic

Longtime CPR instructor Gustavo E. Flores, M.D., said the findings didn’t surprise him because he’s heard the same concerns and comments from students. But he wants people to know the benefits of CPR greatly outweigh the risk of injury.

“Your patient in front of you is going through the worst thing that somebody could endure – no signs of life,” said Flores, director and chief instructor at Emergency & Critical Care Trainings in San Juan, Puerto Rico. “If your patient is in … sudden cardiac arrest, there’s nothing you can do that can make him worse.”