Best Gift This Holiday? – Learn CPR

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STATE — This holiday season, the American Heart Association encourages people to give the gift of life by learning CPR.

Sudden cardiac arrest claims hundreds of thousands of lives each year. One of the main reasons is because no one at the scene does anything to help. Unfortunately, less than one-third of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims receive bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and less than 5% survive.

Without immediate, effective CPR from a bystander, a person’s chance of surviving sudden cardiac arrest decreases 7 percent to 10 percent per minute.

Since 2008, the American Heart Association has recommended that untrained bystanders use Hands-Only CPR — CPR without breaths — for an adult victim who suddenly collapses. Hands-Only CPR teaches basic steps: First, call 9-1-1 and then push hard and fast on the center of the chest until professional help or an AED arrives. By using Hands-Only CPR, bystanders can still act to improve the odds of survival, whether they are trained in conventional CPR or not.

The American Heart Association created a simple, affordable way for people to learn Hands-Only CPR in less than 25 minutes, for around $35. The CPR Anytime™ for Family and Friends kit has everything needed to complete this self-directed CPR training. It comes in one kit, which can be used at home or wherever there is access to a DVD player. A single kit allows an entire family to learn CPR. The kit includes a CPR manikin, 22-minute DVD and resource booklet.

Even school-aged children can be trained in Hands-Only CPR. New research shows that school-based programs that teach CPR and the proper use of automated external defibrillators (AED) boost survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest. Whereas only 5 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims survive on average, in schools involved in the study where emergency skills were taught and emergency procedures set-up, up to 45 percent survived.

The American Heart Association’s goal is for each person who receives a CPR Anytime kit, to take it home and share it with other family members, increasing the number of potential rescuers. The kit also allows families to refresh their skills whenever they can. The AHA’s CPR guidelines have been used to train millions of people in lifesaving techniques but many more need to be trained.

For more information about CPR Anytime or to take a CPR class locally, visit

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