Do you know what to do?


If someone collapsed from a heart attack or a child has fallen in a pool, would you know what to do? Fast, appropriate action could mean the difference between life and death. You could be that difference simply by learning some basic life-saving emergency techniques.

Heart attack, abnormal heart rhythm, near drowning, or electric shock can cause the heart to stop pumping blood. This is called cardiac arrest. When sudden cardiac arrest occurs the victim collapses, becomes unresponsive to gentle shaking, stops normal breathing and after two rescue breaths still isn't breathing normally, coughing or moving. Performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation immediately and correctly will greatly increase the odds of survival. According to the American Heart Association:

- About 75 to 80 percents of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen at home, so being trained to perform CPR can mean the difference between life and death for a loved one.

- Effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after cardiac arrest, can double a victim's chance of survival.

- CPR helps maintain vital blood flow to the heart and brain and increases the amount of time that an electric shock from a defibrillator can be effective.

Death from sudden cardiac arrest is not inevitable. If more people knew CPR, more lives could be saved. The American Heart Association teaches basic life-saving skills in their HeartSaver AED course. You can learn adult, child and infant CPR, how to use an automated external defibrillator device as well as what to do in the case of an adult, child or infant choking. Carson Valley Medical Center is offering the HeartSaver class as part of the expanded community wellness program. The next course will be 9 a.m. to noon April 21 at Carson Valley Medical Center in the administration building. The cost is $25. For more information or to register call 783-4815.

Kimberly Lewis



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