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Return to 100 Times a Minute to the Tune of Stayin' Alive Overview

More on 100 Times a Minute to the Tune of Stayin' Alive

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Return to 100 Times a Minute to the Tune of Stayin' Alive Overview

More on 100 Times a Minute to the Tune of Stayin' Alive

100 Times a Minute to the Tune of Stayin' Alive

NEW YORK (Oct 1, 2013)

The thinking behind hands-only CPR is that people are much more likely to attempt to perform CPR on someone who suddenly collapses if the procedure is easy to remember and they do not have to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The data behind it shows that the hands-only approach is just as effective as mouth-to-mouth, and the American Heart Association has been recommending the Hands-Only CPR approach for adults since 2008.

James M. Horowitz, M.D.
James M. Horowitz, M.D.

But for all the positive elements behind hands-only CPR, it is only effective if a bystander performs it. This is the catalyst behind the Hands-Only CPR program at NewYork-Presbyterian's Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute. The program teaches CPR to hospital staff, patient family members, and the community-at-large with hopes to expand to a city-wide campaign. The hands-only approach is easy to learn but there is a comfort level that needs to be achieved. The program teaches simple steps and provides plenty of time to practice.

"The Hands-Only CPR program is free and helps save lives. The key is to perform effective compressions to keep blood flow to the brain until EMS arrives to shock the patient with a defibrillator," said James M. Horowitz, M.D., one of the program's founders and a cardiologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "Many people know CPR but do not want to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. This approach is easier to teach and trainees have better memory recall," he added.

Jody Scopa Goldman, M.S., R.N.
Jody Scopa Goldman,
M.S., R.N.

"Statistics show that there are about 400,000 cardiac arrests per year with only one-third of those receiving CPR. If someone receives CPR immediately, it can double or triple their chances of survival," said Jody Scopa Goldman, M.S., R.N., an Education Specialist at the Perelman Heart Institute and also one of the program's founders.

Dr. Horowitz and Ms. Scopa Goldman developed the program at NYP in collaboration with emergency physician Ben Abella, M.D., MPhil, at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia. The class developed very organically. First they targeted family and friends of cardiac patients, then family and friends of other patients at the Hospital, and then non-clinical employees. In addition, Ms. Scopa Goldman has been receiving calls from health fairs and community members asking to be trained.

The 1-hour class is open to the public and offered every Thursday (see dates for October). It focuses on having participants remember several easy steps.

CPR checklist
Participants who complete the course receive this wallet-sized card that lists the steps. Instructors say those 100 compressions a minute can be done to the tune of the Bee Gee's Stayin' Alive.

In addition to the work of Dr. Horowitz and Ms. Scopa Goldman, Melanie Manaku, a medical student at Weill Cornell Medical College has expanded the program to the Cardiac Health Center, where classes will be taught every other week to the families of patients undergoing cardiac rehabilitation. Future research endeavors include clinical trial studies to compare the retention rates of participants trained in hands-only CPR in the inpatient versus outpatient setting.

The team has lofty goals. "We are trying to figure out how to expand to the city more broadly – the most dynamic way to reach as many people as possible. We can make a big difference," said Dr. Horowitz.

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