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Public CPR Training

Hays, Kansas (February 2, 2012) – It may take only a few minutes, but for the victim of sudden cardiac arrest, it can be the event of a lifetime.

Sudden cardiac arrest strikes about 250,000 adults in the United States annually. More than 95 percent of its victims die before reaching a hospital – many because they don't receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation in time. Defibrillation is a process in which an electronic device gives an electric shock to the heart to help restore the heart's normal rhythm.

To help improve those odds, the Michael E. DeBakey Heart Institute at HaysMed and the Hays Medical Center Foundation will hold its 12th annual Staying Alive Hands Only CPR Training on Saturday, February 25, at the Center for Health Improvement at Hays Medical Center. During the day, the Institute hopes to train over 200 people for free in its Family and Friends CPR course. The one and one half hour class is designed for members of the general public, eight years and older; and is not for those seeking professional certification.  More than 30 certified instructors and volunteers will donate their time to the event.

Classes in adult and pediatric CPR will be offered at 9:00 am and 11:00 am.  To register, call 1-800-248-0073, ext 5500 or 785-623-5500.

"If more people know how to perform CPR, it naturally increases the probability that victims of cardiac arrest would receive CPR more timely—when it can still make a difference," said Bryce Young, Vice President of Operations at Hays Medical Center.

When performed immediately, CPR may double a cardiac arrest victim's chances of survival by adding critical minutes to a patient's life. With CPR, breathing and chest compressions circulate oxygenated blood to the brain, heart and other vital organs until defibrillation is performed.

Cardiac arrest survival is directly linked to the amount of time between the onset of sudden cardiac arrest and defibrillation. Chances of survival drop 7-10 percent with every minute of delay. Brain death starts to occur in just four to six minutes.  Seventy-five to 80 percent of all sudden cardiac arrests happen at home, so knowing how to perform (CPR) can mean the difference between life