MIAMI (CBS4) — According to the American Heart Association, 300,000 people each year in the United States are treated for cardiac arrest outside of the hospital; less than 8-percent survive. Performing Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation or CPR can double or even triple a victim’s chance of survival. That’s why the American Red Cross wants to teach you how to save someone’s life.
“I was chairing an event at the Broward County Library around 8:30 in the morning and that’s the last thing I remember,” explained Michelle Tuggle about a day in May 2007 that could have been her last on Earth.
While drinking a cup of coffee, she collapsed and stopped breathing.
“Later I found out that they think I had an electrical short and it just stopped everything. I’ve since learned that if it hadn’t been for the security guard Brenda doing CPR, there may not have been time for the paramedics to resuscitate me,” said Tuggle.
Lt. Michael Walker with BSO Fire Rescue remembers the day well.
“When we arrived we found Michelle in the conference room on the floor unconscious, unresponsive,” said Walker.
He and several other rescue workers helped revive Tuggle.
She considers them heroes but Walker says it’s the security guard who deserves the real praise.
“It’s people doing CPR prior to our arrival that are going to save somebody’s life,” Walker said.
Citizen’s CPR also known as Hands-Only CPR saved Tuggle’s life.
American Red Cross instructor Patrick Beason said all it takes is three steps.
First, check the scene, then check the person, then have someone call 9-1-1 if there is no response. Next, start compressions at 100 a minute.
Beason explained the procedure. “Put one hand in the center of the chest, using the heel of the hand. Lace the fingers together, lock your elbows and go up and slightly above your victim. In the center of the chest you’re going to do about an inch and a half to two inches.”
Beason said keep doing the compressions until paramedics arrive or until the subject is revived. They are simple steps that could mean the difference between life and death.
“It’s easy to learn and it will save somebody’s life,” Walker added.
The American Red Cross is holding a free Citizen’s CPR event in the Galleria Mall in Fort Lauderdale Saturday April 16th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will take place in front of Neiman Marcus at 2414 E. Sunrise Blvd. Reservations are preferred. Call 954-797-3807 for more information or Email firstname.lastname@example.org