It’s that time of year again: the holidays. With all the celebration, some experience more stress -- and health officials say more people visit the emergency room this time of year than any other time due to heart attacks and strokes.
At Red Cross of Alaska, it’s recommended that everyone get CPR trained to be able to react in an emergency situation.
“Being prepared to save someone’s life with skills like CPR and first aid is invaluable when it comes to an emergency situation,” said Laura Spano with the Red Cross. “Everybody is going to have a chance in their lifetime to save someone’s life and by knowing the right skills that could be a life or death situation.”
Spano says all you need for proper CPR training is your hands and the confidence to be able to save a life.
The current general practice is 30 chest compressions followed by two rescue breaths, and if there is no response repeat until help arrives.
A good way to remember the speed of the compressions is the beat of disco classic "Staying Alive," by the Bee Gees, Span said.
According to the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, starting basic CPR within the first minute of cardiac arrest decreases mortality rates by up to 42 percent.
“Even if you’ve never been through a class, chances are pretty good that somebody has seen it on TV or knows what it looks like and that is still better than nothing,” said Lanise Taunton-Rigby, Director of Emergency Services at Alaska Regional in Anchorage.
Taunton-Rigby still advices that everyone takes a class to get certified in CPR, like the courses offered at the Red Cross of Alaska all year round.
“Second to washing your hands, it’s probably the most important thing that anyone can learn,” Taunton-Rigby said.