Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Floridians Urged to Take Life Saving Measures into Own Hands

giving cprTALLAHASSEE, FL - When it comes to cases of sudden cardiac arrest, bystander CPR can double or even triple survival rates, but in the majority of such incidents there is no immediate help.

According to CPR educator Kim Harkins, that's partly because of people not being certain how to perform CPR, or being wary of giving mouth-to-mouth, but she explained that the recommended method has changed over the years so now it's simply rapid chest compressions to a disco beat.

Hands-only CPR
Today I Found Out

"We really encourage people just to compress on the chest, at least two inches, 100 times a minute," Harkins said. "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 generally considered an issue for those who are older, Harkins said it can happen anywhere, at any time and, really, at any age.

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

Almost 400,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests occur annually nationwide, and a majority of them occur at home.

This is National CPR and AED Awareness Week. 

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