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Hands Only CPR can save lives

11:03 AM, Feb 11, 2013   |    comments
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When it comes to CPR -- new research suggests there's an easier -- and more effective -- way to give a hand to victims of sudden cardiac arrest.
NBC's Erika Edwards reports.

by the time you hear this sound -- it's likely too late for victims of sudden cardiac arrest.

they need immediate CPR to keep blood flowing to the heart and brain. but the majority of people standing around when someone collapses lack the confidence to take action.

Alson Inaba, M.D. - American Heart Association: "The way to build that confidence is to make the process as simple as possible."

Dr. Alson Inaba of the kapi'olani medical center for women and children in hawaii was the one who came up with such a simple idea, and it's since revolutionized the world of CPR.

Alson Inaba, M.D. - American Heart Association: "If you just hum that song, you know, ah ah ah ah stayin alive, as you push on the chest, you can save a life."

Dr. Inaba says that calling 9-1-1 and then pushing hard and fast on the center of a victim's chest to the beat of that famous bee gee's song "stayin' alive" can double or triple that person's chance of survival. that's it. no complicated breathing necessary.

according to a new study -- this "hands only" approach led to better survival rates and better neurological functioning in victims of sudden cardiac arrest than conventional c-p-r. and anyone can do it.

Tommy Watson - Teaches "Hands-Only" CPR: "So far I've trained 411 people in hands only cpr."

15-year-old tommy watson made teaching hands only cpr his mission after witnessing an elderly man collapse.

Tommy Watson - Teaches "Hands-Only" CPR: "Out of over a hundred adults at this soccer game I was at, only 1 person knew CPR."

the hope is that if more people know they can use their "hands only" -- they're less likely to be "hands off."

one other tip to keep in mind -- you cannot hurt cardiac arrest patients with CPR-- only help them.

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