Thursday, May 20, 2010

Red Cross Survey Finds More Than Two-thirds of Americans Experience a Summer Emergency

/PRNewswire/ -- A new Red Cross survey shows that 68 percent of Americans have been involved in some kind of summer emergency, ranging from insect bites, heat stroke and broken bones to more life-threatening situations. One in every four people say they have been in a situation where someone needed CPR.

The survey of more than 1,000 adults found that Americans say they are most comfortable giving CPR to family members, friends and coworkers, with less than half very likely to perform CPR on a stranger. The survey showed that physical appearance was a significant factor when people are deciding to perform CPR on a stranger, and men with a disheveled or sloppy appearance were the least likely to receive assistance, with only half of respondents saying they would very likely try to give them CPR.

Americans plan to be very active this summer, as the survey found that more than 40 percent will go hiking or camping and almost 75 percent will go swimming. While people expect to be active, the Red Cross found that many were not confident they knew what to do in an emergency -- less than two-thirds felt confident helping a heat stroke victim and fewer than half could help someone with an allergic reaction to an insect or snake bite.

Previous Red Cross research found that nearly 90 percent of Americans say they want to be prepared for an emergency, but they don't know where to start or what to do.

"With so many people outdoors camping, hiking and swimming, it's important that someone in every household get trained in CPR and first aid skills," says Connie Harvey, health and safety expert for the American Red Cross. "Learning these lifesaving skills is easier and more convenient than you might think, and Red Cross training can help people prevent and respond to life's emergencies -- big or small.

"People can learn basic skills in just a few hours from Red Cross online lessons, products you can purchase for home instruction, and courses available through local Red Cross chapters," Harvey added.

This year, the Red Cross is offering a new Wilderness and Remote First Aid course designed to teach people how to respond to emergencies when help is delayed . In addition, the Red Cross teaches swimming and water safety skills to over 2 million people each year, trains millions in life-saving skills through its Lifeguarding and CPR/AED courses, and offers life-saving training for young people through its Babysitter Training courses.

More information about Red Cross courses can be found at www.redcross.org or contact your local Red Cross chapter for a schedule of class times and locations.

Details: Telephone survey of 1,018 U.S. Adults 18 years and older from March 26-29, 2010 conducted by Infogroup | ORC. Margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

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