CPR can triple chance of surviving cardiac arrest. Here's how to learn hands-only CPR in LA County

Denise Dador Image
Tuesday, July 25, 2023
CPR triples chance of surviving cardiac arrest. Here's how to learn
Cardiac arrests occur outside of a hospital 70% of the time with only a 10% chance of survival. This underlines the importance of bystander CPR.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Sudden Cardiac arrest kills up to 450,000 Americans every year. Only 40% of people who suffer one receive CPR. Now, one ambitious Los Angeles County health campaign is hoping to train a record number of people at sporting events, malls and entertainment venues.

Learning hands-only CPR can be as easy as learning a new dance step.

"Hands-only CPR is very important. It can double or triple a person's chance of survival once they have sustained a cardiac arrest," said Angela Austin with the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

At an event at the Los Angeles Music Center, Austin demonstrated how learning dance moves and saving lives go hand-in-hand.

"Our goal is to train 500,000 people in hands-only CPR by the end of the year," she said.

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Those who learn will be potential heart heroes like Kenia Barba of Norwalk.

"Definitely didn't expect to come and learn how to do CPR, but I'm really glad that I stumbled onto this," Barba said.

"It can be learned in three steps: You check for consciousness. If they are not conscious, then you have someone call 911, and then you initiate chest compressions. And you basically press hard and fast until first responders arrive," Austin explained.

Seventy percent of cardiac arrests happen outside of the hospital, and there's only a 10% chance of survival. That's why the more people who know bystander CPR, the more lives can be saved.

"I think it's a great idea, because everybody gets a chance to try it out before they have to do it in real life," said Dr. Anita Kriplani, a pulmonologist.

Participants learn how to position their hands and experience how hard and fast compressions need to be.

"It really stays with people once we've trained them," Austin said.

So far, about 1,000 people have undergone hands-only CPR training. If you want to learn how to be a heart hero, you can find out more on the L.A. County Department of Public health website.

"Anyone can be placed in a situation where they can be a first responder, so why not be empowered and have that life-saving skill?" Austin said.

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