EMS to Celebrate Valentine's Day with 'Hands-Only' CPR at Walmart

Valentine’s Day is a great time for local residents to demonstrate their love for family and friends by learning to save lives.

A “Hands-Only CPR” ambulance will be staged at the Walmart parking lot from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, February 14, in honor of Valentine’s Day and National Heart Month.

According to EMT Madison Waldie, the “Hands-Only CPR” campaign is aimed at teaching local residents how to perform chest compression-only CPR to the beat of the Bee Gees hit “Stayin Alive.”

“If people will give us five minutes of their time, we promise we can give them the training and confidence they need to take action and save a life,” said Waldie.

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death with nearly 360,000 out-of-hospital cases occurring every year in the United States.

When a teen or adult has a sudden cardiac arrest, survival depends on immediately receiving CPR from someone nearby, especially since survival rates drop as much as 10 percent for every minute that goes by without intervention.

Sadly, about 90 percent of people who suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die because they don’t receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene.

Additionally, most Americans (70 percent) feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they don’t know how to administer CPR, or they’re afraid they’ll hurt the victim.

Waldie said Hands-Only CPR is now changing that.

“We just concentrate on two steps,” she said. “First, call 9-1-1. Then, while you wait for help to arrive, push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the tune of ‘Stayin Alive,’ which has more than 100 beats per minute—the exact rate you need to save a life.”

Dr. Alson Inaba, M.D. was the first to partner the popular disco song with CPR.

“A few years ago, when I was teaching a CPR class, it occurred to me that a familiar song’s beat would be an easy and fun way for people to remember the correct rhythm for CPR chest compressions, and make them feel more confident doing it,” he said.

Dr. Inaba continued, “If you immediately begin Hands-Only CPR to the beat of ‘Stayin Alive,’ you can double or triple a person’s chances of survival.”

And Waldie said Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be equally as effective as conventional mouth-to-mouth CPR; plus, people are more likely to feel comfortable performing it.

“We’re excited to teach this simple life-saving method to our community,” said Waldie. “We hope they will put aside their fears and see just how easy Hands-Only CPR is to master.”

For more information on the Hands-Only CPR campaign, visit www.heart.org/handsonlycpr or call HGH EMS Rescue EMT Madison Waldie at (775) 623-5222.