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Thursday, September 29, 2022
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Cardiac Arrest Survivor Advocates for CPR Education


CPR Training | Image by Shutterstock

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Angela Perkins suffered cardiac arrest at work nine years ago on July 9.

She said it was a terrifying experience, but CPR saved her life.

“I was at work in a meeting, just a routine meeting at work, and all of a sudden I collapsed and went into sudden cardiac arrest,” Perkins told NBC 5.

Luckily, a co-worker called 911, and Dallas Fire and Rescue arrived within minutes.

“Over the next 20 minutes, they continued CPR, and [shocked] me multiple times with an [automatic external defibrillator] trying to get my heart started back,” said Perkins.

There are many reasons why people do not jump in right away to help someone suffering from a significant heart event.

Dr. Ann Marie Navar, associate professor of cardiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland, said many people worry about inappropriate touching, COVID-19, or not knowing how to conduct CPR properly.

“It’s important for people to get training in bystander CPR because you learn where to put your hands to get adequate chest compressions, but proper training can also protect you in the event of another outbreak, like COVID-19, for example,” Dr. Navar said.

In the past year, over 55,000 people were trained in bystander CPR by the North Texas American Heart Association.

Some of the takeaways included chest compression instructions.

“We’re looking for between 100 and 120 [hard and fast] compressions a minute,” said Dr. Navar.

Because of the CPR expert who helped save Perkins’ life, she is now a walking advocate for people who suffer from heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes, enrolling in physically-active charity events like the upcoming American Heart Association annual “Heart Walk.”

“This will be my ninth walk to participate in. My first heart walk was actually in 2013. Just six weeks after I got out of the hospital. I’d already planned to walk before my cardiac arrest, which is pretty neat,” said Perkins.

To participate in the American Heart Association’s annual Heart Walk, sign up for the September 24 events in Dallas at Reunion Tower Lawn and Tarrant County at The Shops at Clearfork.

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