Spare A Minute, Learn How To Help Save A Life

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TRENTON — Got a minute? Then you can learn how to help save someone’s life.

During National CPR Week (June 1-7), the American Heart Association is urging people to take 60 seconds to watch a Hands-Only CPR instructional video so they are equipped to act in a cardiac emergency. The video, which can be viewed at, teaches the simple steps to help an adult who is in cardiac arrest. In fact, a recent study shows that just watching a short instructional CPR video greatly increases the chances that bystanders will attempt CPR.


Taking the time to watch the video is important because 70 percent of Americans have never been trained in CPR or their training has significantly lapsed. And when people lack confidence and knowledge of CPR, the odds of survival get worse for victims of cardiac arrest: Less than one-third of those victims get CPR from bystanders.

“Most Americans simply don’t know how to help,” said Joan Helfman, RN, FAACVPR, American Heart Association Board Member. “But anyone can learn Hands-Only CPR and everyone should. In the time it takes to wash your hands, wait for a red light to change or update your Facebook status, anyone can learn to save someone’s life.”

Hands-Only CPR involves two simple steps: 1. Call 9-1-1 and 2. Push hard and fast on the center of the chest until professional help arrives. The American Heart Association has endorsed Hands-Only CPR as a treatment for adult cardiac arrest victims since 2008, and studies have shown it is as effective as CPR with breaths. In addition, people who watch a brief Hands-Only CPR training video are significantly more likely to attempt CPR, according to a recent study published in the association’s scientific journal Circulation.

This year, the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement is helping to spread the Hands-Only CPR video through the “Make it Your Mission to Learn CPR” campaign. Because four out of five cardiac arrests happen at home – and because women are typically the family’s health gatekeepers – it is important for women to know what to do in an emergency. After viewing the video, women should share it with five friends or family members.

“Women don’t want to be bystanders – not at home, not at work, and certainly not in a crisis situation – and learning CPR allows them to be prepared for cardiac emergencies,” notes Ninfa Saunders, RN, MSN, MBA, PhD, American Heart Association Regional Board Member and Chief Operating Officer at Virtua in Marlton, NJ. “It’s imperative that we not only train ourselves to be ready for an emergency but share the information we learn with others so that more lives can be saved.”

Hands-Only CPR is recommended for adults who suffer a cardiac arrest at home, at work or in another public location. Children under eight years old still need full CPR with chest compressions and breaths since the cause of their cardiac arrest is typically respiratory-related.

“Being trained in CPR helped save my own child’s life,” noted Helfman. “Ideally, everyone should be trained in CPR with hands-on practice. At least by watching our Hands-Only CPR video, anyone can learn the basics and give adult cardiac arrest victims chest compressions. It’s simple, but poignant principal—the more people that know CPR, more lives will be saved.”

For more information about CPR Week or Hands-Only CPR, visit

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