"Your best chance of surviving death is for the person standing next to you knows CPR."
Dr. Frank Dubeck of Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield says statistics show that if a bystander knows CPR you're chances of surviving sudden cardiac arrest go up by 25 to 35%. And as anyone who has taken a CPR certification course may know, Dr. Dubeck says they can be very involved and anxiety provoking. That's why hands only CPR is becoming acceptable.
"With the new approved hands only CPR, one you eliminate the issue of mouth to mouth with a stranger which in the post-AIDS era was as real disincentive, and two - it's very simple."
Dr. Dubeck says first, make sure they're not asleep - by shaking them a little, and if there's no response - call 9-1-1. Now, it's time to administer hands-only CPR. Take the heel of the palm of your hand and place it on the breast bone, interlock your fingers, get up on your knees and push down.
Dr. Dubeck says ideally, one person would start CPR, and another person can go get an Automatic External Defibrillator - or AED - which he says a lot of places now have. The sooner you can use an AED, the better chances the person has of living.
"They feel that with the rapid compressions of the chest you're actually bellowing the lungs in order to create some air exchange."
And he says you're getting the blood circulating. Four minutes without circulation can lead to brain damage. So Dr. Dubeck says while not as good as traditional CPR, it's better than nothing. And as we approach the Boilermaker, it's especially appropriate to learn. If interested, he'll be giving free lessons at the boilermaker expo.