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Local CPR Training Should Be Approached Without Fear

COVID might be disrupting certain holiday plans, but with more people getting together this year, the importance of CPR training is being touted, and Iowa experts say it’s a life-saving skill you can safely apply, even during a public health crisis.
Adam Novak, director of continuing education at Mercy College of Health Sciences and a first aid instructor for the American Heart Association, said whether you are at the mall or at home, knowing the signs and techniques can result in better outcomes for someone experiencing cardiac arrest.
One technique he teaches is hands-only CPR.

He pointed out the approach is helpful for bystanders who might be more reluctant about stepping in because of the pandemic. Novak added another fear is getting into legal trouble if you hurt the patient, but he noted all states have protective “good Samaritan” laws for those situations.
In West Des Moines, the Jordan Creek Shopping Mall has a training kiosk for those who want to learn CPR.
Training experts emphasized it is not just for being a helpful bystander in public. With nearly 70% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happening in homes, Novak stressed you are adopting a skill that could save the life of a loved one.

He said knowing what to do when first responders cannot get there right away is a big reason why Mercy College emphasizes outreach for training, including the kiosk. As for knowing the signs of trouble, experts say it is often when someone collapses and is unresponsive. If there are no signs of breathing or a pulse, then it’s time to call 911 and begin CPR.

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