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Hands Only CPR class offers easy, effective way to help in an emergency

A small group of people take a Hands Only CPR class led by American Red Cross. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

What would you do if someone around you suddenly collapsed? More people are now willing to step in because of Hands Only CPR.

A small group at the American Red Cross in Asheville received life-saving training.

"With Hands Only CPR, you are just doing the compressions and not the breathing," Fran Schlesinger, a Red Cross volunteer instructor, explained.

"You're going to put the heel of your hand right in the middle of our little truck there," she demonstrated, using a foam toy.

"I think it's a practical skill we all need," said Ilene Procida, a participant in the CPR course. "I needed to do it without mouth to mouth."

"It's a hesitancy on many people to put your mouth on somebody else's mouth, especially a stranger," Schlesinger added.

A metronome on a cell phone helps participants pace their compressions to the clicks at approximately 100 per minute.

"It really is helpful to be physically present in a group and learn what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong," Procida remarked. "Anybody can do this."

"The sooner we can get started after an event to give compressions to keep that oxygen going to the vital organs such as heart, the better the outcome for that person," Sclesinger explained.

Statistically, Hands Only CPR has proven to be just as effective as traditional CPR until emergency crews arrive.

For more information about the next Hands Only CPR class, contact your local American Red Cross.

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