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Hands-only CPR saves lives

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If someone around you stopped breathing, would you know what to do? When seconds count, could you save a life?

We want you to be ready, so the CPR manager for the American Heart Association, Cindy DeWolf, gave me a lesson in hands-only CPR. So, just what is hands-only CPR?

"You are only doing chest compressions," Cindy says, "The American Heart Association has said, and we've researched, in adults, this is just as effective as traditional CPR. So, two steps: Call 911, and push hard and fast."

The first thing you should do if you find someone or are with someone who appears to have stopped breathing, is to tap them and shout, "Are you okay?"

"Then, if they are not breathing, they don't respond to you , or only seem to be breathing in gasps or choking, then they need CPR," Cindy says, "So either you yourself, or ask someone there to call 911. In the meantime, I'm taking the heel of one hand, placing it the other hand directly on top, and pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest. And we're doing it to the beat of 'Stayin' Alive' (by the Bee Gees). And you keep doing that until the guys with the uniforms show up."

If you want to learn CPR, the American Heart association sets up a booth at their annual Heart Walk. You can also visit their website, to find a class near you.

The American Red Cross also teaches CPR.

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