National CPR Awareness Week is June 1-7. This is a great time to focus on the importance of knowing how to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). The single greatest cause of death for men and women in the United States is heart disease, so it is essential to raise public awareness regarding these issues.
For adults and children 8 years and older, follow this procedure:
- Check person for responsiveness and breathing. If none are detected, call 911 immediately or have someone else call while you administer CPR. Occasional or slow gasping, which sounds like a snort, snore, or groan, is also a sign of cardiac arrest.
- Use your upper body weight (not just your arms) as you push straight down on (compress) the chest approximately one-third the depth of the chest or at least two inches downward. Keep your elbows straight and position your shoulders directly above your hands. Proper hand placement minimizes the complications of cracked ribs.
- Push hard and fast, giving 30 chest compressions at a rate of 100 compressions per minute.
CPR for children ages one to eight follows the same steps as for adults with one change: Give chest compressions using one or both hands, depending on the size of the child.
People often deny they are having a heart attack or that anything is wrong. It is important for you to recognize the warning signs and get medical help immediately. Keenan SafeSchools/SafeColleges offers aCardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) course.