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Life-Saving Skill: Simplified Approach To CPR Appears To Have Made A Difference

Local medical experts are doing a great job of spreading the word: In the crucial minutes between when a human heart stops and medics arrive, a person’s survival can depend on whether someone nearby performs CPR.

The Fairfield Medical Center in June launched two days of free, countywide training for cardiac pulmonary resuscitation.

Organizers, who hoped to reach 2,500 people, were inspired by two happy endings.

Claire Birkholz was 9 when her heart stopped last September at her Hilliard swim club. A teenage lifeguard and coaches began CPR until medics arrived.

And Misty Morrison, 27, was at home with her family in Lancaster when she went into cardiac arrest. Her mother and fiancé provided CPR.

The technique isn’t hard to learn, and it’s better to have prepared and practiced before the need arises.

Since 2008, the American Heart Association has recommended starting with chest compressions, which don’t require mouth-tomouth contact.

That was a concern for some people, especially if the person who needs help is a stranger and might have an infectious disease.

This newer approach seems to be making a difference: Columbus medics respond to about 500 cardiac arrests a year.

In 2009, bystanders started CPR just a third of the time.

By 2011, medics arrived to find CPR being performed about half the time.

“The most important thing is just getting someone going and not worrying about the details,” said Michael Sayre, an emergency-medicine professor at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center,

In other words, it’s far better to try than to do nothing at all, because it could save a life.–Columbus Dispatch

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