Lend a Hand, Save a Life

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

If somebody went into sudden cardiac arrest right in front of you, you'd likely call 911.  But after that, would you know what to do?   Some health experts in the area say if you lend a hand, you could save a life.

What do the Bee Gees,  Justin Timberlake, The Bangles, and Hanson all have in common?  They, among many other artists, have recorded hit songs that are about 100 beats per minute.  That happens to be the rhythm you should use if you're administering CPR.
"Every minute CPR is not being done decreases the chance of survivability," said Wendy Hastings.  She's the director of the LTS EMS Council, which serves Lycoming, Tioga and Sullivan counties.

She wanted to tell us about a project they've taken on, along with the state department of health, to get the word out about hands-only CPR.

"The message is clear.  It's so simple.  It takes only 4-5 minutes to train somebody in hands-only CPR," said Hastings.

In other words, focusing on keeping a patient's circulation steady until help arrives is the most important thing.  The thought is that if bystander CPR can be improved, the odds of surviving sudden cardiac arrest can double, or even triple.

As part of the Pennsylvania Heart Rescue Project, EMS officials are hoping to educate 250,000 people statewide.

Wendy gave us a quick lesson: "we're gonna place the heel of our hand in the center of the chest and position yourself over the patient.  put your other hand on top then push fast and deep at a rate of about 100," she said.

100 beats per minute, to be precise.  To help you figure out what that is, the American Heart Association compiled a list of songs with 100 beats per minute.  That includes "Stayin Alive," "Walk Like an Egyptian," and "MMM Bop," just to name a few.

If you're in Central PA, Hastings also wants to remind you of an event where you can get trained.  It's Saturday May 18th at South Williamsport's Community Park, from 10am-2pm.  The event is part of National EMS Week.