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Free CPR training June 5

Methodist Hospital  will provide free Hands-OnlyTM CPR (chest compressions but no mouth-to-mouth breathing) training 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday, June 5, near the food court at the Westfield Santa Anita mall.

“It only takes a few minutes per person,” said Ilene Frost, RN, Methodist Hospital educator. “We want to encourage people to come out to the mall and take a few minutes to learn this potentially lifesaving skill.”

Part of a countywide event, the training will occur just outside Johnny Rockets restaurant next to Methodist Hospital’s Heart Check blood pressure center near the food court. Methodist Hospital staff will demonstrate the basics and proper techniques of the American Heart Association’s Hands-OnlyTM CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation), and participants can practice on mannequins.

Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency and the American Heart Association (AHA) have collaborated to promote this Sidewalk CPR event in communities throughout the county in observance of National CPR Week.

“We want to teach as many as we can how to use this method,” Frost said. “Anyone can save a life simply by being aware of the CPR basics.”

When performed by a bystander, this method could be even more effective than CPR because more people are likely to perform the hands-only method. There are only two steps to remember:

1. Call 911

2. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest

Cardiac arrest is more common than you think and can happen to anyone at any time. Many victims appear healthy with no known heart disease. Nearly 300,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur annually, and less than 10 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive.

Sudden cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack. It is an electrical disorder of the heart that causes it to stop beating. Without blood flow, the brain stops working and the victim collapses and is unconscious. The earlier CPR is started the better.

CPR is a temporary measure until Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel arrive and use a defibrillator or other advanced treatments to restart the heart. The interval between the 911 call and EMS arrival is usually longer than five minutes. So, a victim’s survival is likely to depend on someone trained in “bystander” CPR. For every minute without bystander CPR, survival from cardiac arrest decreases by as much as 10 percent. Yet, effective bystander CPR given immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can possibly triple a victim’s chance of survival.

And because 80 percent of cardiac arrests occur close to home, the life you save with CPR is mostly likely to be someone you know or love. Some may be concerned they might do something wrong, but the only way to make things worse is to do nothing. Don’t be a helpless bystander. If you have two hands, you have what it takes to help save a life with Hands-Only CPR.

Anyone can learn CPR – and everyone should. If you see an unresponsive adult who is not breathing or not breathing normally, call 911 and push hard and fast on the center of the chest until EMS arrives.

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