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To Your Health: Save a life with hands-only CPR

The American Heart Associatiis offering one-minute lessons hands-only CPR.  |  Supplied photo

The American Heart Association is offering one-minute lessons in hands-only CPR. | Supplied photo

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Updated: July 12, 2014 6:16AM



Anyone can learn CPR — and everyone should.

Sadly, 70 percent of Americans may feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they either don’t know how to administer CPR or their training has significantly lapsed.

This alarming statistic could hit close to home, because home is exactly where 88 percent of cardiac arrests occur. Put very simply: The life you save with CPR is most likely to be that of someone you love.

This month, the American Heart Association is calling on all Americans to learn how to give hands-only CPR by watching a simple one-minute video at heart.org/cpr. Once you’ve learned CPR, send the link to five people you care about and give them the power to save a life.

Don’t be afraid; your actions can only help.

If you see an unresponsive adult who is not breathing or not breathing normally, call 911 and push hard and fast on the center of the chest.

Why learn CPR?

Cardiac arrests are more common than you think, and they can happen to anyone at any time. Nearly 420,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests occur annually, and many of the victims appear healthy with no known heart disease or other risk factors.

The life you save with CPR is most likely to be that of a loved one. Four out of five cardiac arrests happen at home, so statistically speaking, if called on to administer CPR in an emergency, the life you save is likely to be that of someone at home: a child, a spouse, a parent or a friend.

Why take action?

Failure to act in a cardiac emergency can lead to unnecessary deaths. Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival, but only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims get CPR from a bystander. Sadly, less than 8 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive.

Hands-only CPR has just two simple steps: call 911, and then push hard and fast in the center of the victim’s chest, to the beat of the Bee Gees’ hit song “Stayin’ Alive.”

Hands-only CPR has been shown to be equally as effective as CPR with breaths, and people are more likely to feel comfortable performing it.

A December 2012 study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation found that hands-only CPR performed by bystanders keeps more people alive with good brain function after experiencing a cardiac arrest.

According to the American Heart Association, people feel more confident performing hands-only CPR and are more likely to remember the correct rhythm when trained to the beat of a familiar song.



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