American Red Cross Launches Citizen CPR Campaign to Educate 5 Million People In Hands-only CPR By End Of 2011

 Red Cross will continue to offer full CPR training as well as the hands-only technique

WASHINGTON, October 20, 2009 With the increasing importance of compression only or “hands only” CPR in many cardiac emergencies, the American Red Cross today announced an initiative to educate 5 million people in 2011 about the use of this potentially lifesaving technique.

Hands-only CPR is a technique that involves simply using chest compressions on an individual who has suffered sudden cardiac arrest .  The technique involves no mouth to mouth contact and is best used in emergencies outside of hospitals where a bystander has seen another person suddenly collapse.

The American Red Cross is the nation’s largest provider of CPR and first aid training, and the new Red Cross initiative includes several different ways in which the public can learn hands-only CPR:

  • In early 2011, the Red Cross will launch a 30-minute, instructor-led “Citizen CPR” skills training so the average person can quickly and easily learn the hands only technique. 
  • People can now go to www.redcross.org to download a free PDF instructional guide and watch a two-minute video on the hands-only CPR technique.
  • The Red Cross already offers a product to help people learn hands-only CPR at home. That product can be purchased at www.redcross.org and retails for $9.99.

“Emergencies are more common than most of us know,” said Dr. David Markinson, a Red Cross advisory council chair. “We could increase the likelihood of surviving cardiac emergencies that occur outside a hospital by putting more victims within a few steps of lifesaving assistance. In a life-threatening situation, performing hands-only CPR is better than doing nothing at all.”

As part of the initiative, the Red Cross is urging high schools to add hands-only training to their graduation curriculum and urging businesses to train 25 percent of their employees in the technique, in addition to those who need full CPR training because of their role as workplace responders.

The Red Cross will continue to offer consumers a choice in their CPR training.  In addition to the new “Citizen CPR” hands-only course, the Red Cross will continue to offer courses with a full CPR certification using both compressions and rescue breaths. That’s because full CPR with rescue breaths is still best in the health care setting and for children, adolescents, drowning victims, or people who collapse due to breathing problems.

Health care professionals such as doctors, nurses, paramedics, EMTs and workplace responders should continue to be certified in CPR using compressions and rescue breaths.

Any form of CPR is no substitute for emergency medical attention. In an emergency situation, always call 9-1-1 , start CPR and continue it until help arrives.

 About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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