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Red Cross sets goal to educate five million people about benefits of CPR

SPRINGFIELD With the increasing importance of compression only or "hands only" CPR in many cardiac emergencies, the American Red Cross has launched an initiative to educate five million people in 2011 about the use of this potentially lifesaving technique.
Hands-only CPR is a technique that involves simply using chest compressions on an individual who has suffered sudden cardiac arrest. The technique involves no mouth to mouth contact and is best used in emergencies outside of hospitals where a bystander has seen another person suddenly collapse.
The American Red Cross is the nation's largest provider of CPR and first aid training, and the new Red Cross initiative includes several different ways in which the public can learn hands-only CPR:
  • In early 2011, the Red Cross will launch a 30-minute, instructor-led "Citizen CPR" skills training so the average person can quickly and easily learn the hands only technique.
  • People can now go to www.redcross.org to download a free PDF instructional guide and watch a two-minute video on the hands-only CPR technique.
  • The Red Cross already offers a product to help people learn hands-only CPR at home. That product can be purchased at www.redcross.org and retails for $9.99.
As part of the initiative, the Red Cross is urging high schools to add hands-only training to their graduation curriculum and urging businesses to train 25 percent of their employees in the technique, in addition to those who need full CPR training because of their role as workplace responders.
The Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter provided life saving training to over 17,500 individuals last year and will continue to offer consumers a choice in their CPR training going forward. In addition to the new "Citizen CPR" hands-only course, the Red Cross will continue to offer courses with a full CPR certification using both compressions and rescue breaths. That's because full CPR with rescue breaths is still best in the health care setting and for children, adolescents, drowning victims, or people who collapse due to breathing problems.
For more information on compression only CPR or to register for life saving training classes contact the Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter at 737-4306 or visit their Web site at www.redcrosscwm.org.