Show of hands for the new CPR
July 24, 2012
Want to be a hero? It’s easier than you might think. With recent research showing that lives are saved when bystanders get involved, L.A. County and the American Heart Association have launched a campaign to train 10,000 Angelenos in a simple, “hands-only” form of CPR that anyone can perform.
It turns out that you don’t have to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, sit through a lengthy class or hold an official certificate to play a crucial role when an adult has a sudden cardiac arrest. All you have to do is call 911 and begin performing rapid, deep compressions to the victim’s chest until the paramedics arrive.
“It’s so much easier now to teach, and for people to do,” said Cathy Chidester, director of the county’s Emergency Medical Services agency.
You can even learn the easy technique at your local park, grocery store, Costco or Wal-Mart. County fire officials will be fanning out on Thursday, June 7, in a massive educational effort intended to reach people in every part of the community. A list of locations where county fire personnel will be teaching the technique is here; a comprehensive list of other places where the training is being offered Thursday is here.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of learning to perform this simple intervention: “It increases the number of potential lifesavers on the street in our community,” said Kristine Kelly, communications director for the American Heart Association in Los Angeles. “It just empowers people.”
And empowered people can make a huge difference.
“Approximately 80% of cardiac arrests happen at home,” Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said in a motion to declare Thursday “Sidewalk CPR Day” in the county. “Put very simply: The life you save with CPR is most likely to be someone you love.”