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Heart Month — New Hands-Only CPR

As a leading cause of death for both men and women, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. proudly participates in American Heart Month to prevent heart disease and increase awareness of its effects.

You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease. To lower your risk the Department of Health and Human Services recommends to:

  • Watch your weight.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke,
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure,
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation, and
  • Get active and eat healthy.

In addition to traditional CPR, officials also recommend everyone learns how to perform hands-only CPR.

What is Hands-Only CPR?

Hands-Only CPR is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. They recommend this tactic for use by people who see a teen or adult suddenly collapse in an “out-of-hospital” setting. For example, if you see someone suddenly collapse while playing basketball, officials recommend attempting hands-only CPR. It consists of two easy steps:

  1. Call 9-1-1 (or send someone to do that).
  2. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest.

Next, when you call 911, you need to stay on the phone until the 911 dispatcher tells you to hang up. The operator will ask you about the emergency. Then they will also ask for details of the location, the individual’s status, and other relevant information. If you find yourself in this situation, remember to be specific about all of the details. It will make it easier for emergency personnel to find you and help the individual. Lastly, remember that answering the dispatcher’s questions will not delay the arrival of help.

According to the American Heart Association, about 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival. Chest compressions push oxygen-rich blood through the body to keep vital organs alive. Hands-Only CPR buys time until EMS arrives.

How To Keep the Beat

The American Heart Association recommends keeping a few songs in your head in an emergency. Depending on your taste in music, they have several examples so that you remember the correct rate to compress an individual’s chest.  Song examples include

  • “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees,
  • “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z,
  • “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira” or
  • “Walk the Line” by Johnny Cash.

If you like a more scientific method, when performing CPR, you should push on the chest at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute. Of course, that corresponds to the beat of the song examples above.

About the Firm


Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr. practices plaintiffs' personal injury law at his office in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

About Ron

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