By Karen Stokes
February is American Heart Month and the American Heart Association(AHA), is urging at least one person in every household to “Be the Beat” and to commit to learning Hands-Only CPR.
According to the AHA, there are two simple steps of hands-only CPR if you witness a teen or adult suddenly collapse: Call 9-1-1 and Push Hard and Fast in the Center of the Chest until help arrives.
If you believe someone is experiencing a heart attack, minutes matter. Fast action can save lives.
Information from the AHA says that each year, about 635,000 people in the U.S. have a new heart attack and about 300,000 have a repeat attack. Heart attacks can be sudden and intense, most start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Here are some of the signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:
• Chest discomfort.
• Discomfort in other areas of the upper body.
• Shortness of breath.
• Other signs: These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
CPR, if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival which is key since about 90% of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. And, because about 70% of cardiac arrests happen at home, odds are the person who needs CPR will be a family member or friend.
“If you are called on to give CPR in an emergency, you will most likely be trying to save the life of a loved one: a spouse, a parent, grandparent, child or a friend,” said Dr. Michelle A. Albert, president of the American Heart Association and Walter A. Haas-Lucie Stern Endowed Chair in Cardiology and Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco”
According to the American Heart Association, 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. All songs in our ‘Don’t Drop the Beat’ playlist are between 100 – 120 beats per minute, the same rate at which rescuers should perform compressions when administering CPR. The beat of any of several songs including “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 can “Be the Beat” to save a life.
American Heart Month, a time when all people can focus on their cardiovascular health. Visit heart.org/handsonlycpr to watch and share the Hands-Only CPR instructional video. Be the beat and help save a life!