CPR Needed Anytime and Anywhere

In the world of fitness, people are regularly putting stress on both their heart and muscles.   With the improvements that come with regular and well controlled exercise, also lurks the potential for a heart to behave erratically or even stop.   Unfortunately, this event can occur anywhere. The fact that there is no “perfect script”  in the readiness for such an event puts further emphasis on the importance of learning what can be done to be an effective bystander if such an event occurred.

I had the opportunity to sit down this past week with Michelle Kruse, Owner of Emergency Response Consulting.  Her business specializes in training and certifying employers and their workforce to be prepared and take action.  Below are some of the key excerpts taken from our discussion:

Q: What is it that made you choose this particular field?

A: With my strong sales and marketing experience of 12 years, I wanted to provide a service people need and show to the community CPR classes can be fun and interactive.  I accomplish this by, smaller class instruction, round table discussions and my passion for teaching.

Q:  How random are cardiac events and have you actually been at any events where it occurred?

A:  Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death among adults over the age of 40 in the United States and other countries. In the U.S. alone, approximately 359,400 people of all ages experience SCA each year (about 1,000/day) and nine out of 10 victims die. These studies are from the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation. I do have the experience of providing CPR and it felt wonderful to be able to respond within seconds to save this man’s life by keeping my skills refreshed.

Q: What would you say is one of the more common misunderstandings of CPR/AED?

A:  People’s fear of making the person worse.  We have to understand the person is in their worst state and everything we do is helping them.  

Q:  How effective are CPR/AED Courses

A:  I think it’s critical for a person to keep their CPR/AED updated every 2 years with an instructor in a class room environment so they can receive the hands on training and feel comfortable to provide CPR at a moment’s notice.  

Q:  What an “AED” is, and what does it do?




A:An automated external defibrillator (AED) is  electrical device  that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening abnormal heart rhythms of the ventricles (excessively fast, slow, or stoppage altogether) and  treat them through “defibrillation”, the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm.

Q: Are there any instances you’ve heard of where someone died because no by-standers knew CPR?

 A:  There are many bystanders that are aware of the “hands only CPR” but still lack the proper training and importance of providing rescue breathes.

 Q: Explain how to “take control” if a person sustains a heart-attack or becomes unconscious?

 A:  Take the “leader role” and director others how they can help.

 Q:  Do the statistics of heart attacks increase at fitness facilities or for fitness participants?

 A:  This does not because heart attacks can cause death or the heart attack can cause cardiac arrest and death.  People of all ages and physical fitness levels die of cardiac arrest with no known cause of heart problems.  Heart screenings are key in determining heart disease.

 Q: What is the one “take-away” you would recommend people know about CPR?

A:  Hands on training with AED’s and not being intimidated by them.   Providing CPR and using an AED is most effective in a life-threatening emergency.

Michelle Kruse is the owner of Emergency Response Consultants and  has been working with employers for over 5 years to improve safety in the work-place.  She can be reached at 503-310-0193 or at her email, michelle.kruse@efr.me


Bill Victor

Bill Victor, M.S. Exercise Science is the President of Victor Fitness and Performance Training. He and his team of trainers are dedicated to bringing the fitness experience, and the self-confidence that comes with it, to the citizens of Clark County. He can be reached through www.victor-fitness.com or his email, bill@victor-fitness.com.

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