SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) —People across Los Angeles County Thursday learned lifesaving “hands only” cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques.
Local firefighters, emergency medical technicians and nurses also took part in the free “Sidewalk CPR” training from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. at more than 80 locations countywide to teach residents how to keep someone alive until first responders arrive.
The “Sidewalk CPR” training sessions lasted about 15 minutes.
Hands-only CPR focuses on the first few minutes following a cardiac arrest, since the lungs and blood contain only enough oxygen to keep vital organs healthy for that amount of time. While emergency responders are on their way to the scene, chest compressions using hands-only CPR will provide the ongoing blood flow needed to give the patient a much better chance of survival once responders arrive.
Officials say family and friends can double or triple their loved one’s chance of surviving a cardiac arrest with CPR. An estimated 80 percent of cardiac arrest events occur at home in LA County, according to officials.
KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports Dr. Marc Futernick of California Hospital Medical Center said there is no longer any need for CPR techniques to include mouth-to-mouth contact.
“I think that’s one of the things that has been inhibiting people from doing CPR is they don’t want to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation,” Futernick said. “All you need to do…is do the chest compressions, hard and fast pushing in the middle of the chest while we’re waiting for a defibrillator to arrive.”
For timing purposes, Futernick suggested CPR administrators can sing the song “Stayin’ Alive” to pace CPR compressions.
“I think the lyrics are really apropos to what we’re talking about,” he said. “We’re trying to keep people alive.”
Nationwide, nearly 383,000 people suffer cardiac arrest every year away from a hospital environment, according to officials.