General contractor survives cardiac arrest; teaches July 27 class to show others how to save lives

GaryBrauchlateachesCPRWhen Gary Brauchla went into cardiac arrest before daybreak in September 2012, he survived because others didn’t give up on him.

His wife kept up chest compressions until help came. First responders kept up CPR until they transported him to the hospital.

Brauchla, now 72, is on a mission to show others how to save lives with chest compression CPR.

According to the American Heart Association, most people who experience sudden cardiac arrest die because they do not receive immediate CPR, which could otherwise double or even triple a person’s chance of survival.

“Statistics show that 70 percent of people may not know how to respond if someone collapsed nearby,” Brauchla said. “People should know that in just a few minutes, they can learn how to save a life. You never know when you may need that skill, especially since like mine, four out of five cardiac arrests happen at home.”

With his second chance, Brauchla added two things to his life.

He started running for the first time in his life, and routinely runs 5K races.

And he became an advocate, starting a nonprofit, Arizona Cardiac Arrest Survivors, to provide education about cardiac arrest and the steps that can be taken to save lives. He also became an American Heart Association Basic Life Support Instructor, capable of training clinical staff as well as those with no experience in CPR.

Brauchla will be teaching Save a Life, Don’t Give Up! Compression Only CPR on July 27 at 5:30 p.m. at The Core at La Encantada, 2905 E. Skyline Drive.

Chest compression CPR not only is easy to perform and eliminates a barrier for those reluctant to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, Brauchla noted, but it works just as well as traditional CPR in sudden cardiac arrest cases.

“Feeling helpless as a bystander in an emergency is a terrible feeling,” Brauchla said. “It’s my hope to help others be able to take more proactive steps instead of wishing they could help.”

Registration is requested at Participants will have an opportunity to practice this technique on mannequins during the class.

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