Flares, life vests and a working radio are all necessary safety items for boaters out on the water.

At the Miami International Boat Show on Monday rescue personnel from area fire departments and members of the Florida Heart Research Institute touted another safety measure, PUSHCPR, which could one day save a life.

“We have special hospitals set up throughout the county where we can take someone who’s having a heart attack, bring back from cardiac arrest and they’re literally walking out of the hospital alive,” Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokesman Capt. Eric Baum.

“The purpose of this unprecedented collaboration is to let the public know that we are all working together to Stop Heart Disease in an important and meaningful way to increase survival rates in our community but we need their help,” according to Tori Gabriel, Director of Education & Prevention at the institute.

Gabriel said the message they are trying to send is that if you see someone collapse, call 911 and then perform PUSHCPR until paramedics arrive. PUSHCPR involves compression-only CPR (no mouth to mouth). Gabriel said just put your hands in the middle of the chest and push hard and fast.

“You don’t have to worry about mouth to mouth or hurting someone. So if everyone helps by doing PUSHCPR, we can absolutely increase survival rates,” said Gabriel.

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Gabriel said maintaining chest compressions until paramedics arrive can make a life or death difference.

“It keeps the oxygen flowing through the vital organs, even though you’re not breathing for the person, the oxygen is being circulated when you push on the heart,” said Gabriel.

The key, according to researchers, is to keep oxygen going to the brain until help arrives. The paramedics may then treat the person with defibrillation and/or hypothermia while taking the person to the hospital. Hypothermia involves lowering the person’s temperature when there has been insufficient blood flow to the vital organs. According to Gabriel, induced hypothermia has been proven to significantly improve the outcomes for survivors.


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