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CORBIN – Experts say that most people who survive a cardiac emergency are helped by bystanders who administer CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). However, witnessing this type of incident is shocking. Our nation recently experienced this during the Buffalo Bills NFL game when a player suffered from cardiac arrest after a hit. Due to the timely administration of CPR and usage of an AED (automated external defibrillator), his heartbeat was restored on the field. Now in critical condition, the player still has a chance at survival thanks to CPR.

“This tragic incident is an important reminder that any one of us could be there when someone collapses at the grocery store, post office, dry cleaners or even one of our homes,” said Baptist Health Medical Group cardiologist Ibraiz Iqbal, MD. “Knowing CPR could help save someone’s life, potentially even one of your family members.”

Hands-only CPR is a first aid technique where an individual repeatedly pushes on the person’s chest to provide an artificial heartbeat, between 100-120 beats per minute. This technique buys time until medical assistance arrives. CPR training is not just for healthcare workers and emergency responders. Nearly 70% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen at home, and if CPR is performed immediately, the chance of survival is at its highest.

To administer hands-only CPR, place the ball of one hand in the center of the chest, with the other hand on top. Interlace your fingers and make sure they are up off the chest. Position your body so your shoulders are directly over your hands and lock your elbows to keep your arms straight. Give continuous compressions and push at least two inches down. Allow the chest to return to its normal position after each compression.

“During a cardiac arrest, there is no blood flow to the body’s vital organs, most importantly the brain,” said Dr. Iqbal. “The longer this goes on without treatment, the greater the chances are of having an anoxic brain injury, which is injury to the cells of the brain due to lack of oxygen. When good quality CPR is administered, blood and oxygen can be delivered to the tissue to help avoid brain injury. Using an AED is important because it can restore the heart’s rhythm. Together, these treatments can improve the chances of survival.”

Knowing where AEDs are located in public areas is vitally important especially in areas such as office buildings, malls, sport arenas and gyms.

To learn more about how to perform “hands-only” CPR, take 90 seconds to watch a video by visiting www.heart.org/HandsOnlyCPR. If interested in becoming CPR certified or learning more about how to use an AED, visit the American Heart Association.

Learn more about our heart care services or take our free Heart Health Assessment today at BaptistHealth.com/Corbin.

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