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Hands-on CPR from good Samaritans can be key to saving lives



By Deb Courson Big Sky Connection

HELENA – When it comes to a case of sudden cardiac arrest, bystander CPR can double or even triple survival rates. In the majority of such incidents, no immediate help is available.

According to CPR educator Kim Harkins, that’s partly because people aren’t certain how to perform CPR, or they may be wary of giving mouth-to-mouth. But she explained that the recommended method is now simpler: rapid chest compressions to a disco beat.

“We really encourage people just to compress on the chest, at least two inches, 100 times a minute,” she said, describing the new method. “You can do it to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive.” So it is much easier, which takes away that fear of doing it wrong or having to give breaths.”

Harkins noted that “doing something is always better than doing nothing.”

While cardiac arrest is often considered an issue for the elderly, Harkins says it can happen anywhere, anytime and at any age.

“We see all the time younger people, people who have been participating in activities that suddenly collapse,” she said. “And that is the population often with undiagnosed heart problems or congenital heart problems.”

Megan Paulson is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Outlaw Partners.

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