Saving lives with 'Hands Only' CPR
Stephanie Graham, Courtny Gerrish
Photo: Video by tmj4.com
MILWAUKEE - Nearly 400,000 cardiac arrests happen outside of hospitals. That means you may have to be the first responder, like Dustin Blackburn was.
Blackburn is a tennis instructor at Lake Country Racquet and Athletic Club, but about a year ago it was a totally different story--when a man at the club fell to the ground.
"I kind of assessed the scene, and saw that he didn't have a pulse," he recalls.
Blackburn had recently learned compression-only CPR.
"Once I got there, it just kinda became instinct, and then from then on I just kinda helped him out by doing the CPR, and some other people came to aid," Blackburn says.
Dr. Tom Aufderheide with Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin wants to see more people get trained in CPR like Blackburn did. He says it's very effective, even without the mouth to mouth component--which can be intimidating to some people.
Dr. Aufderheide assures, "You can't do anything that will hurt the person, and doing something in a cardiac arrest is infinitely better than doing nothing."
So he designed new 'hands-only' CPR training kits for the American Heart Association. 1,000 kits will be distributed across Milwaukee--with a focus on high-risk neighborhoods. Mayor Tom Barrett explains, "Neighborhoods where there's not a lot of health professionals. And because it is so easy to learn, just taking that 20 minutes to get trained to do it, I think will ultimately save lives."
At a press conference Tuesday, Milwaukee firefighters demonstrated how to push hard and fast in the center of the chest, to the beat of the Bee Gee's song 'Stayin' Alive'. Blackburn's thankful he knew that technique, and hopes this new initative helps save other lives. "I think it's important just to have the information,"
The idea is that once a person gets trained on the new CPR kit, they pass the kit on to someone else, so it creates a ripple effect across the community.
There will be public training sessions at city hall, and at several libraries over the next few months. Here's a link to more information.