Learn Hands-Only CPR During National CPR Week

We know that CPR saves lives, and during CPR and AED Awareness Week, June 1 – 7, the AHA is shining a spotlight on how lives can be saved if more Americans know CPR and how to use an AED. By sharing this important message, you can help to increase knowledge and raise awareness that can help double cardiac arrest survival rates by year 2020.

hero_image_alt_text===Picture of chest compressions
thumbnail_alt_text===Picture of chest compressions

Why should you learn Hands-only CPR?

Cardiac arrest is an electrical malfunction in the heart and it causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and disrupts the flow of blood to the brain, lungs and other organs.  Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death. Each year, more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States.

When a person has a cardiac arrest, survival depends on immediately receiving CPR from someone nearby. According to the American Heart Association, about 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die.  CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.

Be the difference for someone you love!  If you are called on to perform CPR in an emergency, you will most likely be trying to save the life of someone you love:  a child, a spouse, a parent or a friend.  Statistics are startling.  Seventy percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in the home, and only about 46 percent of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest receive the immediate help that they need before professional help arrives. Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR for cardiac arrest at home, at work or in public spaces.

Think about music … music can save lives!   

Hands-Only CPR has just two easy steps, performed in this order:  (1) Call 9-1-1 if you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse; and (2) Push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of a familiar song that has 100 to 120 beats per minute.  Song examples include “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z, “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira” or “Walk the Line” by Johnny Cash.

People feel more confident performing Hands-Only CPR and are more likely to remember the correct rate when trained to the beat of a familiar song.  When performing CPR, you should push on the chest at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute, which corresponds to the beat of the song examples above.  

Watch this 90-second demo video, and then visit heart.org/handsonlycpr to watch the Hands-Only CPR instructional video and share it with the important people in your life.  Hands-Only CPR is a natural introduction to CPR, and the AHA encourages everyone to learn conventional CPR as a next step.

CPR is an important lifesaving skill; with the right training, anyone can save a life!  

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