Life-saving business was brisk - actually 100 counts per minute - last week when Santa Paula Fire and Santa Paula Hospital personnel along, with volunteers, blanketed the sidewalks with half-man mannequins to teach the community Hands-Only™ Sidewalk CPR. Above, learning the new CPR program are Carla Limon, Joanna Barrios. Teaching CPR is Santa Paula Firefighter Kevin Dodd. (Photo by Brian D. Wilson)

Fire Department, hospital join for lifesaving Hands-Only Sidewalk CPR instruction

June 22, 2012
Santa Paula News

Life-saving business was brisk - actually 100 counts per minute - last week when Santa Paula Fire and Santa Paula Hospital personnel along, with volunteers, blanketed the sidewalks with half-man mannequins to teach the community Hands-Only™ Sidewalk CPR. 

The new and improved CPR method does not include the traditional mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but rather concentrates on chest compressions only. To maximize training, the teams taught the new life-saving method in two shifts at three locations, Kmart, Vons and Tresierras Market, where passersby were asked if they would like to learn how to save a life.

More than 400 sudden cardiac arrests occur every year in Ventura County and 80 percent happen at home, typically with a family member or a friend witnessing the emergency as it occurs. Only about 30 percent of the time CPR is being done when help arrives.

When sudden cardiac arrest occurs, the heart stops delivering blood to the brain and the heart. The brain starts to die in just four to six minutes without hands-only CPR.

Hands-Only™ CPR can help to keep the heart and brain alive until firefighters and paramedics arrive and take over, when the pros can use defibrillators and medications to “re-start” the heart. But it can take emergency personnel four to five minutes to arrive to help the stricken person. Now mouth-to-mouth is not necessary - there is enough oxygen in the blood for the first few minutes of performing CPR.

SPFD Reserve Firefighter Nick Colborn was outside Vons with other Reserves and volunteers teaching the new Hands-Only™ CPR Thursday morning. “We’ve had 13 people so far” who took the instruction and who, Colborn said, were surprised that CPR no longer requires mouth-to-mouth resuscitation; “just chest compressions,” said Colborn, “100 per minute to the beat of ‘Staying Alive’,” the hit disco era tune by the Bee Gees. “It saves lives; CPR really saves lives.”

Volunteer Katherine Wikholm of Camarillo agreed. The daughter of Santa Paula’s Dr. Gary Wikholm is a lifeguard certified in CPR, but was far from home in Mammoth “when I did CPR once for real...  we were on vacation and my dad and I did two-person CPR” on a woman who collapsed coming out of church. “She lived,” said Wikholm, who noted the new Hands-Only(tm) CPR is “a lot more straightforward and easier to learn.”

For more information on Hands-Only™ CPR, visit Ventura County Health Care Agency Emergency Medical Services, www.vchca.org/ph/ems, or the American Heart Association, www.heart.org.





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