The Independence fire/EMS will be offering a first aid/CPR class to the public Saturday, Feb. 3 beginning at 9 a.m. at the temporary City Hall. The ability to provide emergency care to someone while awaiting the arrival of first responders can mean the difference between life and death

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) kills more than 900 adults each year in the United States. Per the American Heart Association (AHA), 95 percent of SCA victims die prior to reaching the hospital.

Since more than 80 percent of cardiac arrests occur at home or in similar private settings, being trained on CPR and performing it immediately on someone who is suffering from cardiac arrest can double or even triple their chance of survival.

According to the AHA, in cases of cardiac arrest, hands-only CPR has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPRe first few minutes - essentially, this person would be able to maintain oxygen to their vital organs s. Hands-only CPR is recommended for use on teens or adults who suddenly collapse. This means they were likely breathing normally before the incident and may already have sufficient oxygen in their blood for tho long as someone is administering high-quality chest compressions with limited interruption to keep the blood pumping through the heart and brain. 

Hands-only CPR involves two steps - call 911 or send someone to call 911 for you and then begin administering chest compressions. The AHA recommends pushing hard and fast into the center of the chest to the beat of a familiar song that has 100 to 120 beats per minutes. Examples include "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees, "Crazy in Love" by Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z, "Hips Don't Lie" by Shakira or "Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash. You're more likely to remember the correct rate and to feel more confident if you're trained to the beat of a familiar song. 

Mouth-to-mouth CPR can still be necessary in situations where an infant or child has collapsed or when an individual has been found unresponsive and not breathing normally. It's also used with victims of drowning, drug overdose or collapse as a result of breathing problems. Any attempt to provide CPR to a person who is suffering from cardiac arrest is better than no attempt to provide help - chest compressions to ensure blood keeps flowing is much better than doing nothing. 

The trained professionals of the Independence fire/EMS will be able to teach these skills as well as various other first aid strategies. The cost for the training is $25 and you can pre-register at http://www.independenceks.gov/forms.aspx?FID=96.