There are many reasons people give when asked why they’re hesitant to perform CPR on a stranger. These range from causing additional injury to exposing someone in public. However, the benefits far outweigh any potential risks.
More than 325,000 people go into cardiac arrest in the United States every year, and immediate CPR significantly lowers the risk of death, brain damage, or other lasting injury.
Read More: Why Don’t Bystanders Perform CPR?
One of the most common reasons people don’t provide CPR in public is the fear of legal prosecution should they cause further injury. However, there are legal protections against this kind of prosecution.
What Are Good Samaritan Laws?
Every state in the country has a “Good Samaritan” law of some kind. The specifics vary, but in general, these laws provide legal protection to people who provide reasonable assistance for someone who is experiencing an injury or emergency.
In short, if you are providing CPR to the best of your knowledge and ability, the likelihood that you will be held legally responsible for any additional injury is minimal. (If you have any questions about a specific situation or case, please contact an attorney.)
If you encounter someone who is in cardiac arrest, call 9-1-1 and provide help to the best of your ability. A CPR training course can help you be more prepared should you find yourself in this situation. Sign up for an in-person, virtual, or on-demand CPR course today!
HeartCert CPR is your trusted training partner for CPR, ACLS, PALS, EMR, First Aid, CNA, IV, EKG and more.
HeartCert CPR courses include CPR/AED/First Aid, Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Certified Nursing Assistant training, IV training, EKG training, babysitter basics and more. Courses and certifications from both the American Heart Association and American Red Cross are available.
This is an updated blog post that was originally published in 2019.