Saving lives with compression only CPR

By: Elizabeth Schilder Email
By: Elizabeth Schilder Email
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It takes only a few minutes to learn and has the potential to save someone's life, yet even today most American's don't know how to perform CPR properly. That's a problem. According to the American Heart Association a staggering 92 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital. A percentage that could go down if more people learn this life-saving technique.

It's called compression only CPR or, as dubbed by The American Heart Association, Hands-Only CPR. Wausau Fire Department EMS Division Chief Josh Finke says he hopes the new technique will clear up much of the confusion surrounding how to administer CPR.

"A lot of people focus on the mouth to mouth ventilations because that was encouraged for so many years and it's really been proven that especially in the first few minutes of a cardiac arrest it doesn't help at all, it may in fact hurt or it may in fact have a worse effect on the patient," Chief Finke explains adding, "a lot of people are really focusing on the mouth to mouth ventilations when they should be focusing on chest compressions."

Anyone from eight years old to 80 years old can learn compression only CPR. Thursday the Wausau Fire Department demonstrated the technique at the Market Place on the 400 Block in Wausau.

What you do is simple. Place your hands on the center of the victim's chest and begin compressions. Paramedics say you should aim for 100 compressions a minute, or more simply to the beat of the song 'Staying Alive,' and push about two inches deep.

Division Chief Finke says there is even a smartphone app called PocketCPR by Zoll that6 can help you find the exact spot to place your hands for those compressions.

"Now, all of us actually, if something would happen, I feel I would be much quicker to respond instead of standing there thinking am I suppose to do mouth to mouth? Should I do mouth to mouth? Do you tip the head back? How many breaths? What do you do? It's perfect," participant Leigh Ablee tells NewsChannel 7 about Thursday's training.

If you are interested in learning CPR, all you have to do is call your local fire department. They will be more than happy to teach you this compression only technique.

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