Residents learn hands-only CPR to save lives

April Gusman (left) of California Correctional Healthcare Services at California State Prison teaches a resident how to perform hands-only CPR.

Ernie Chavez practices hands-only CPR.

LANCASTER – Walmart employee Ernie Chavez gained some lifesaving experience Thursday. Chavez was one of many people who took advantage of the free hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation training offered in front of Walmart as part of National CPR Week.

“I got kids and I got a pool nearby so this is something good to have,” Chavez said.

The Los Angeles County Sidewalk CPR event was hosted by California Correctional Healthcare Services at California State Prison and American Medical Response.

Residents received certificates after completing training Thursday.

Representatives from both agencies manned a tent in front of the west Lancaster Walmart Thursday and trained shoppers and bystanders on how to properly administer hands-only CPR, a technique that involves chest compressions but no mouth-to-mouth breathing.

“The American Heart Association has found that the chances of survival with hands-only CPR tremendously increases, so this campaign is an effort to train bystanders so that CPR can be initiated right away to increase people’s chances of survival,” said April Gusman of California Correctional Healthcare Services at California State Prison. “Eighty percent of all cardiac arrests actually happen in the home, so it’s really not just about saving somebody’s life in the community, it’s about possibly saving somebody in your own home.”

The American Heart Association has recommended hands-only CPR for adults since 2008. Hands-only CPR has been proven to be as effective as standard CPR, sometimes even more effective, since people are more likely to do hands-only CPR.

Hands-only CPR training events took place at several locations around the Antelope Valley Thursday, including Antelope Valley Hospital and Palmdale Regional Medical Center.

Learn how to give hands-only CPR

The Official 2012 Hands-Only CPR Instructional Video below demonstrates the proper technique for saving a life through hands-only CPR.

If you see a teen or adult collapse, call 9-1-1 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the classic Bee Gees’ song “Stayin’ Alive.” The American Heart Association’s Hands-Only CPR at this beat can more than double or triple a person’s chances of survival.