The Heart of Miami: Promoting CPR Education and Readiness

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, including Florida. The latest 2021 statistics show that nearly 20% of fatal outcomes in Florida were caused by heart disease. These numbers indicate that heart disease is a severe affliction among the Florida population, the Miami community included. The data shows coronary heart disease is also the leading risk factor for cardiac arrest.

According to Miami-Dade County, as many as 80% of cardiac arrests occur in the home and are witnessed by a family member. Timely administered CPR can increase a person’s chances of survival by 12% in cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. From the available data, it’s self-evident that it’s of utmost importance for Miami residents to know and be willing to perform CPR.

The Benefits of Learning CPR for Miami Residents

CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) knowledge is essential for everyone, but it is of particular importance for the residents of Miami, seeing as a large part of the population suffers from heart disease. The most prominent benefits of learning CPR include:

      • Saving a Life: CPR, when administered in the first few minutes after a cardiac arrest occurs, can significantly improve the chances of survival. Whether on the street, at school, or in the workplace, CPR-trained individuals can help people make it to the hospital alive.

      • Saving a Family Member: As pointed out, most cardiac arrests happen at home. If a family member is in cardiac arrest, you can potentially save their life by providing CPR at home.

      • Doesn’t Require Special Skills: Learning CPR doesn’t require a special skill set — anyone can learn how to do it. The technique is simple and easy to remember, so even the community’s youngest members can learn it without difficulty.

      • No Mouth-to-Mouth Requirement: Many people are hesitant to provide CPR, believing they will have to provide mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. However, the latest guidelines state that chest compressions alone are enough to provide effective CPR.

      • Better Employment Opportunities: Some professions require a CPR certification, and being already certified can improve the chances of being employed.

    The benefits of knowing and being ready to implement CPR in the heart of Miami are many, with no downsides to learning this life-saving technique. It requires little time to learn, has a shallow learning curve, and has no specific requirements, so there’s nothing preventing Miami residents from learning CPR.

    The Risks of Insufficient CPR Readiness

    Learning to administer CPR properly is important not only because it can aid in saving a person’s life but also because improperly performed CPR on a patient can result in various complications. The most common complications from bystander CPR include:

        • Tracheal bleeding

        • Injuries to the abdominal organs (hepatic, splenic, and gastric injuries)

        • Rib fractures

        • Lung injuries (pneumothorax, collapsed lung)

        • Post-CPR chest and/or abdominal pain requiring treatment with analgesics

      The main purpose of CPR is for the patient to survive. However, it would also be beneficial if the person does not have to deal with the pain and discomfort of CPR injuries. This can be easily avoided by promoting CPR education and readiness among the population.

      CPR Readiness in Miami

      A study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic in 2017 showed that only 54% — a little more than half — of US residents know how to perform CPR. Even though it is possible that there was a rise in these numbers in the years since the study was conducted, it’s highly unlikely that there were any significant improvements.

      There is no clear data to indicate how many Miami residents know how to administer CPR and are prepared to apply this knowledge when the situation arises. However, we have no reason to believe that Miami is much higher or lower than the rest of the nation in CPR readiness, so there is definitely room for improvement.

      In 2016, Miami-Dade County imposed a new requirement: students have to learn CPR before graduating high school. The county was the first to require mandatory CPR training in schools in Florida — a measure that should improve the CPR preparedness of Miami residents, especially among the younger population.

      The Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, signed a bill in 2021 that made CPR training a graduation requirement state-wide. The bill requires schools to provide CPR classes for students in grades 9 and 11. Even though CPR training is not mandatory for younger students, the bill encourages school districts to provide training for children in grades 6 and 8.

      The training has to be based on a nationally recognized program that adheres to the latest CPR guidelines. The bill’s main goal is to promote CPR education and readiness in the state of Florida, including the central Miami area. Once the first generation of students that have to fulfill this requirement graduates, Miami should have a much larger percentage of CPR-trained residents.

      CPR Requirement: Who Is Mandated to Learn CPR in Miami

      The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) created a list of occupations in which workers have to be CPR-certified. Seeing as OSHA is a government body, these requirements apply to the entire US population, including Miami, unless otherwise stated by local or state laws. The list of occupations that require a CPR certification includes:

          • Electrical Workers: People who work with exposed lines or with equipment energized at more than 50 volts have to be certified and be able to administer CPR within 4 minutes of an incident. The number of CPR-certified electrical workers in a single location will depend on the overall number of workers at that location.

          • Workers in the Logging Industry: Logging is a risky occupation and workers in this industry must hold current CPR certifications that meet OSHA-specified requirements.

          • Workers in Confined Spaces: Groups that work in confined spaces need to have at least one CPR-trained individual with them at all times. Confined spaces can be defined differently, but this regulation concerns permit-required confined spaces.

          • Workers in the Diving Industry: Members of dive teams must hold a CPR certification. This is particularly important for Miami dive members because the city is a diving hotspot, and a large number of people go diving on a daily basis.

        Besides these four occupations that mandate a CPR certification, OSHA also recommends but does not require CPR training for a range of other professions. People looking for employment in the heart of Miami should seek out information on employment opportunities that require/prefer CPR-certified candidates. However, this would not be a concern for people who already have certification, so it’s best to get certified as soon as possible.

        Availability of CPR Training for Miami Residents

        CPR training is widely available in the Miami area, just as it is in all major cities across the US. This means that Miami residents can get certified quickly and easily, and they can choose among several available options. The most popular ways to become CPR certified are:

            • In-Person Training: The in-person training requires candidates to attend classes where they learn about both child and adult CPR and get the opportunity to try CPR techniques. The instruction makes sure that each candidate has the proper knowledge and technique to administer CPR properly. In the end, candidates receive a certificate.

            • Online Training: Although not as efficient as in-person training, online classes can provide sufficient information about CPR to candidates who are unable to attend classes. Completing online training will also result in CPR certification, and it is better than no training whatsoever.

            • School Programs: Even though school programs do not give out official certifications, they produce young people that are capable and willing to provide CPR on the streets of Miami.

          People who cannot, for whatever reason, undergo official CPR training can use a variety of free resources, such as blogs, guides, and even mobile apps, to learn the basics of CPR and provide help when and where needed.


          Promoting CPR education and readiness is the key to creating a community that is capable and willing to administer CPR in life-threatening situations. Once more people understand how CPR works and the immense effect it can have on a person’s life — and with that, the community — they would be more inclined to sign up for formal training and get certified.

          In a city such as Miami, bustling with life, one may never know when someone will be in need of life-saving assistance. It’s best to be prepared to provide it!