The leading cause of death in the US according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC.gov) is cardiovascular disease. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease are: smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, lack of exercise, stress and obesity. Factors which are unavoidable are: age, sex, hereditary and diabetes. Death is most likely to occur after 10 minutes of a loss of oxygen to the brain. From 6 to 10 minutes brain damage is expected. From 4 to 6 minutes brain damage is very possible and from 0 to 4 minutes brain damage is virtually non-existent. However, CPR should still be performed.
Good Samaritan Law
Any persons who assist those who're injured, ill or in peril are protected by the Good Samaritan Law. As long as you’re acting voluntary, without expectation of reimbursement or compensation while performing such aid, on site—you’ll have legal protection.
Remember, when performing the skills you're about to learn, every second counts. So, unless required otherwise, don’t hesitate to call 911 or perform CPR and/or apply First-Aid.
Understanding Duty to Act
Duty to act is the duty requiring a person to take necessary action in order to prevent harm to another person or to the general public. Whether you are required to follow through depends on the situation and the relationship between the parties. In some cases, breach of duty may put a party at liability for damages.
For laypersons, duty to act requires that you provide care if you have a legal duty. If you do not have a legal duty to provide care, you are not required to provide it.
Fear of providing care
There are a number of factors to weigh up when considering providing care. COVID-19 is an important concern, but the risk of contracting diseases can be reduced by wearing personal protective devices like masks, gloves, and gowns that limit exposure.
If you feel fear of providing care due to possible legal issues, know that rescuers who provide care without a legal duty and act in good faith are protected by Good Samaritan laws.
If the situation is actively unsafe, do not attempt care. If you or the victim are at risk, it is best to call EMS and wait for support to arrive.
In some cases, you may be unable to save a victim. Rescuers should still attempt to provide the best care they are able to. A victim’s chances of survival can be improved by even basic efforts at life support. In accidents, victims who are clinically dead may still be helped when given care. Rescue efforts will not worsen their condition.
Following a traumatic situation in which you provided care, you may experience overwhelming emotions. If you continue to feel symptoms like depression, be sure to seek help from a professional source.
Bloodborne Pathogens to be aware of: Hepatitis B and C (HBV / HCV), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and Tuberculosis (TB).
Hepatitis B and C (HBV / HCV), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and Tuberculosis (TB).