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AHA encourages families to learn CPR

July 16, 2012 |

SPRINGFIELD — If a family member, friend or infant in your care had a cardiac or first aid emergency in your presence, could you recognize the signs and respond quickly and appropriately? This summer season, the American Heart Association encourages families to be prepared for summer safety by learning CPR. With the opening of pools and an increase in hot weather physical activity, people should be prepared to act in case of a medical emergency. Accidents, choking and drowning are leading causes of death in children. And sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death among young athletes. Learning CPR can help save lives in case of an emergency. Sudden cardiac arrest claims hundreds of thousands of lives each year. One of the main reasons is because no one at the scene does anything to help. Unfortunately, less than one-third of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims receive bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and less than 5 percent survive. Since 2008, the American Heart Association has recommended that untrained bystanders use Hands-Only CPR — CPR without breaths — for an adult victim who suddenly collapses. Hands-Only CPR teaches basic steps: First, call 9-1-1 and then push hard and fast on the center of the chest until professional help or an AED arrives. By using Hands-Only CPR, bystanders can still act to improve the odds of survival, whether they are trained in conventional CPR or not. The AHA encourages everyone to view a one-minute Hands-Only CPR video at www.heart.org/handsonlycpr. The American Heart Association also created a simple, affordable way for people to learn Hands-Only CPR in less than 25 minutes, for around $35. The CPR Anytime for Family and Friends kit, and Infant CPR Anytime, has everything needed to complete this self-directed CPR training. It comes in one kit, which can be used at home or wherever there is access to a DVD player. A single kit allows an entire family to learn CPR. The kit includes a CPR manikin, 22-minute DVD and resource booklet. Since it is hands-only, the kit can be shared. Order kits online at www.cpranytime.org.

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