Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

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June 13, 2014

Performing hands-only CPR saves lives

Most of us would give anything to save the life of a loved one. That’s why the American Heart Association is encouraging Hoosiers to take one minute and learn hands-only CPR by watching an instructional video at heart.org/handsonlycpr.

Of the more than 420,000 sudden cardiac arrests in the United States every year, about 80 percent of those occur in private or residential settings, meaning those who are called on to give CPR in an emergency will most likely be trying to save the life of a loved one. Sadly, only 41 percent of victims get the immediate help they need before emergency help arrives.

“It’s tragic that 90 percent of cardiac arrest victims don’t survive, especially when hands-only CPR is such an easily learned skill that can double or even triple the rate of survival,” said Jim England, AHA Indianapolis board of directors chairman. “There are two easy steps that anyone can do to save a life. The first is to call 911. The second is to push hard and fast on the center of the chest until help arrives.”

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 AHA’s journal Circulation found that this type of CPR performed by bystanders keeps more people alive with good brain function after experiencing a cardiac arrest. According to the AHA, people feel more confident performing it and are more likely to remember the correct rhythm when trained to the beat of a familiar song.

The AHA uses the Bee Gees’ disco classic “Stayin’ Alive” as an example because it features 100 beats per minute, an ideal rate to perform hands-only CPR.

England, who is also president of J.D. Byrider Advertising Group, survived a sudden cardiac arrest after attending a college football game in 2011 thanks to a bystander who performed CPR.

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