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Learn CPR: You Could Be a Lifesaver

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can help save a life during a cardiac emergency. However, even after training, remembering the CPR steps and administering them correctly can be a challenge. To help you help someone in need, we’re here to offer some simple education.


Before Giving CPR:

1.      Check the scene and the person. Make sure the scene is safe, then tap the person on the shoulder and shout "Are you OK?" to ensure that the person needs help.


2.      Call 911 for assistance. If it's evident that the person needs help, call (or ask a bystander to call) 911, then send someone to get an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). (If an AED is unavailable, or a there is no bystander to access it, stay with the victim, call 911 and begin administering assistance.) Just of note: it’s good to know in advance – whether in your place of work, the gym or any other place you may regularly visit – make note of where AEDs are located just in case you may be the person who must help someone in need.


3.      Open the airway. With the person lying on his or her back, tilt the head back slightly to lift the chin.



4.      Check for breathing. Listen carefully, for no more than 10 seconds, for sounds of breathing. (Occasional gasping sounds do not equate to breathing.) If there is no breathing begin CPR.

The American Red Cross recommends the following CPR Steps:

1.      Push hard, push fast. Place your hands, one on top of the other, in the middle of the chest. Use your body weight to help you administer compressions that are at least 2 inches deep and delivered at a rate of at least 100 compressions per minute.


2.       Keep performing cycles of chest compressions until the person shows signs of life, such as breathing, an AED becomes available, or EMS or a trained medical responder arrives on scene. If you need to use the AED, don’t be afraid. All AEDs come with easy-to-follow instructions once opening the device.


Many people have known “mouth-to-to-mouth breaths” as part of CPR; but that is no longer associated as part of the American Red Cross’s recommendations, nor the American Heart Association. Key is to follow compressions on the victim’s chest, as well as getting EMS (by calling 911) to the scene as soon as possible.

While CPR is not necessarily a difficult process – doing it right is important. Both the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association encourage all people to become certified in CPR to feel confident if the situation ever arises.


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