LANCASTER – About a hundred Costco shoppers spared 10 minutes from their day on Tuesday to learn how to keep a cardiac arrest victim alive until paramedics arrive.
The local residents were part of an estimated 10,000 people at more than 80 locations countywide who learned basic hands only Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) skills as part of “Sidewalk CPR” day.
The one-day event was coordinated by the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, and the American Heart Association (AHA) to help improve cardiac arrest survival.
The local event at the Costco store in Lancaster was conducted by American Medical Response.
“In case someone goes into cardiac arrest, it’s important to know what to do until help arrives,” said Chana Alexander, EMT/FTP/CPR Instructor at American Medical Response.
Hands-only CPR focuses on the first few minutes following a cardiac arrest, since the lungs and blood contain only enough oxygen to keep vital organs healthy for that amount of time. While emergency responders are on their way to the scene, chest compressions using hands-only CPR will provide the ongoing blood flow needed to give the patient a much better chance of survival once responders arrive.
“You call 9-1-1, you press hard and fast in the center of the chest, and you continue to do that until help arrives,” Alexander said, in explaining the simple steps involved in hands-only CPR.
“From children all the way up to grandparents, it’s very important that everyone learns this,” Alexander added.
Sidewalk CPR Day was held as part of National CPR week.
LEARN HANDS ONLY CPR