(WKBN) — The American Heart Association is encouraging everyone to learn hands-only CPR. This year’s American Heart Month theme is ‘Be the Beat’: It’s the rhythm you can keep to help save a life.
The rhythm of your heart is a song all its own. When that song suddenly stops, you need someone to intervene.
When performed in the first few minutes of a cardiac arrest, CPR can double or even triple a person’s chance of survival.
“The big message here is, if someone has cardiac arrest, they are actively dying,” says Jennifer McNeil with the American Heart Association. “If you don’t intervene, they will die.”
Much like music, hands-only CPR keeps a tempo. When someone suffers cardiac arrest, seconds matter.
“You’re not going to mess it up. You’re going to put your hands in the center of that chest, you’re going to straighten your arms out and you’re going to push hard and fast to about 100 to 120 beats per minute,” says McNeil.
As we get ready to kick off American Heart Month, the AHA wants you to ‘be the beat.’ Its goal is for one person in every family to know hands-only CPR.
“It is two steps: It is call 911, and press hard and fast in the center of the chest,” McNeil says. “It’s really that simple.”
Much of the nation witnessed the power of this one simple act after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field during a Monday night football game.
“There is no better example that I can think of that illustrates the importance of CPR,” says McNeil.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the same outcome. According to statistics from the AHA, only 46% of victims get CPR from bystanders. For women, those statistics are even lower.
“What we think is, a lot of people are afraid to give a woman hands-only CPR because a woman has breasts. They’re also afraid to remove clothing to apply padding for the [defibrillator],” McNeil says.
Hands-only CPR is covered by the Good Samaritan Law. You can’t get in trouble for legitimately trying to save someone’s life.
“It is so important that people look at women the same way that they look at men,” McNeil says. “If a women goes down, be prepared to give them hands-only CPR — just as fast as you would a male.”
You can quickly learn hands-only CPR by watching a 2-minute video on the American Heart Association’s website.