Saving a life is as easy as hands-only CPR

Hands-only CPR is just as essential as traditional CPR
Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 11:10 AM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - You may only have seconds to make a decision when someone has a medical emergency and knowing what to do could come down to life or death.

Having a medical emergency at home happens more often than you may realize and learning life saving techniques may be crucial to survival. With seven out of ten cardiac arrests outside of the hospital learning the new preferred hands only CPR might just save someone’s life. When someone goes into cardiac arrest and collapses, you only have seconds to react.

“I see someone on the ground or in the bed on the couch that’s laying there unresponsive, hey hey are you ok, you ok tapping them, no response, that’s when i call 911, grab my cell call 911 once i let them know what’s going on, find the center of their chest, sometimes its easier to expose their chest find their center, put your palm down, put your other one on top, lock your elbows, and just push, you want to go 2 inches deep and try to go 100 beats per minute and your gonna do this as long as you can” says George Sazama, director of Intensive Care Unit for Monument Health.

It’s a three-step process, first call 9-1-1, pat the patient on shoulder and if no response start compressing their chest, according to American Heart Association its called hands-only CPR and it could mean saving someone’s life. Sazama says, “the first 2 minutes are extremely important cause when you go into cardiac arrest your heart stops and is not pumping so blood is not flowing to your body and is not being oxygenated so starting CPR immediately allows you to manually compress the heart and squeeze the blood out of the heart through the body to preserve tissue and what’s most vital is the brain.”

Hands-only CPR is compressions without the mouth to mouth resuscitation and is preferred by the American Heart Association since covid. With the new hands-only CPR, it allows anybody to be a life saver. Sazama says, “the fear was people were shying away cause people didn’t want to do mouth to mouth not knowing the person and so rather than worry about and that being the reason for not doing it trying to teach people to just do compressions push on their chest, push hard and fast, and give them the best chance that you can”.

Sudden cardiac arrest is when a persons heart stops beating due to an electrical disturbance in the heart preventing blood flow throughout the body. According to American Heart Association, “350,000 cardiac arrests happen outside the hospital and about 7 out of 10 of those happen in the home”. “The 3 step approach is easy and the more people that know really the safer we all are”, says Sazama.

If you do experience an emergency calling 9-1-1 is always the first step before you start CPR. “Each compression is critical because it squeezes the heart and pushes the blood out to the vital organs including the brain and when you lift up it allows the heart to pull more blood in” says Sazama. Sazama reminds us you should not stop compressing until an ambulance shows up because when you stop pumping then you are wasting valuable time.

Look for the Monument Health booth in the ice arena at the Monument during the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo.There will be health screenings, education and CPR demonstrations during the event.