Be the Beat challenge urges people to learn hands-only CPR this Heart Month

Learning Hands-Only CPR for February Heart Month
Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 5:44 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -February kicks off the beginning of American Heart Month and this year the American Heart Association is focusing in on the importance of knowing CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Each year 350,000 Americans die from cardiac arrest, and about 90 percent of people who experience a heart attack outside of a hospital will die according to the American Heart Association.

This year’s Heart Month theme is Be the Beat to help address some of the disparities around women receiving bystander CPR. In the wake of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin on-field cardiac arrest, Craig Sommers, vice president of clinical operations at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, says one thing being promoted during Heart Month is starting CPR immediately.

“It’s been proven that once you start CPR quickly you can more than double the chances of a cardiac arrest victims’ survival,” said Sommers. “We want them to be able to be the beat for our family members, should they have a cardiac arrest, be the beat for a co-worker should have they have a cardiac arrest, or even be the beat for a community member.”

The American Heart Association is challenging every household or family to have at least one person who knows Hands-Only CPR. You can watch a 90-second instructional video and share it. Even better the AHA encourages people to watch it with your friends and family so you all may learn together!

When it comes to a matter of seconds, CPR can be the difference is whether your friends and family survive. The two steps of Hands-Only CPR are to call 911 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest. You may use a familiar song to help you keep up the pace of 100-120 beats per minute.

Friday, Feb. 3 marks National Wear Red Day to raise awareness and encourage women of all ages to take charge of their heart health. You can use the hashtags #MadisonGoesRed, #WearRedDay and #GoRedforWomen and tag both NBC15 and American Heart Association Wisconsin on social media!

“Even with all the great work the American Heart Association has done, to try to prevent cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular disease continues to be the number one killer of women,” Sommers added. “Come out wear your red, wear your snowmobiling jackets, whatever you have...we also want people to hashtag us at the American Heart Association if possible because we’d love to see everyone’s smiling faces out there and see people are in their red.”

Friday, Feb. 24 at 10 a.m. the American Heart Association is hosting a Go Red for Women event at the Madison Marriott West Hotel and Conference Center. You can get your tickets here.

Why Go Red? Cardiovascular disease continues to be the No. 1 leading cause of death for women, accounting for one of three fatalities each year.

To find a CPR certification class as well, you can start here!

Learning Hands-Only CPR for February Heart Month

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