August 7, 2019

Contributed
Mariners Hospital will be distributing one inflatable mannequin and a CPR training CD to each family attending its upcoming training program.

Contributed Mariners Hospital will be distributing one inflatable mannequin and a CPR training CD to each family attending its upcoming training program.

KEY LARGO — Skipping mouth-to-mouth resuscitation makes saving adult cardiac arrest victims a little less daunting for some would-be rescuers. Hands-only CPR leaves two things to remember: call 911 and push hard and fast in the center of a chest to the beat of a disco song.

There’s no wrong way to try to save a life, or to live a healthier lifestyle, which are messages that Mariners Hospital’s “Fun in the Sun Health and Safety Fair” program hope to reinforce.

Today’s CPR isn’t the same as it used to be. The American Heart Association’s CPR and First Aid program launched a campaign in 2012 to raise awareness of Hands-Only CPR as a lifesaving method and to increase the likelihood of people to perform CPR in an emergency.

“Research shows that whatever any bystander does is better than doing nothing at all. CPR is not as technical as it used to be,” Baptist Health Community Health Program Coordinator Beth Ruhmann said. “The chest compression is much more [important] than anything.”

About 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die, according to the American Heart Association, and chest compressions are the most important component for preventing that outcome.

Hands-Only CPR is an easy, effective way for any bystander, especially if they act immediately, to double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.

The American Heart Association recommends performing compressions to a high tempo beat, like that of the Bee Gees’ classic disco song “Stayin’ Alive.” The song is ideal at 100 beats per minute but any song between 100 and 120 beats would work. Chest compressions should continue until EMS providers arrive unless the cardiac arrest victim is revived.

Mariners Hospital will be distributing one inflatable mannequin and a CPR training CD to each family attending its upcoming community event.

The Hands-Only CPR class will be held in four sessions the day of the event, and the CDs are provided to share with friends and neighbors. The course is appropriate for ages 10 and up.

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States. Every year, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside the hospital and more than 20 percent occur in public places such as airports, casinos and sporting facilities. Survival depends on immediately receiving CPR from someone nearby.

The AHA still recommends CPR with compression and breaths for infants and children, victims of drowning or drug overdose, and people who collapse due to breathing problems.

Mariners Hospital’s health fair will also cover water safety education.

“Even though as adults, we know them, this is more of a reinforcement of habits and behaviors,” Ruhmann said. “We have to watch kids while they’re in the water. I know mom may have to walk away to take a phone call, but kids also need to know they need a buddy to watch them at all times.”

In the event of an apparent drowning, get the victim out of the pool safely and check their “ABC’s.” See if their airway is open, make sure they’re breathing and check their pulse for circulation.

“If they’re missing any of the three ABC’s, call 911 and start CPR,” Ruhmann said.

The health fair will also cover basic nutrition for everyone through interactive games. Health experts will also emphasize how important hand washing is by demonstrating how easily germs are spread.

For adults, a no-fasting blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, body mass index and waist circumference checks will be offered. An osteoporosis heel scan for women over the age of 30 and men over the age of 50 will also be provided. The screening tests take about five minutes to perform, according to Ruhmann.

The only thing needed is an open mind and a strong enthusiasm to learn how to save a life and to live a healthier one, she said.

Also at the fair, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office will present boating safety clinics and the Florida Department of Health-Monroe County will offer bicycle helmet fittings. Those with helmets are asked to bring them.

Registration is recommended but not required for the Hands-Only CPR course to ensure enough supplies. To register, email Ruhmnann at bethr@baptisthealth.net or call 786-467-5684.

The health fair will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, in the second-floor conference center at Jacobs Aquatic Center, 320 Laguna Ave., inside Key Largo Community Park. Admission to the health fair is free.

tjava@keysnews.com