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Be the Beat for Your Family and Community to Celebrate Heart Month this February

More than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of a hospital in the United States each year, according to data from the American Heart Association. That’s why this year, the American Heart Association, the leading voluntary health organization devoted to a world of longer, healthier lives for all, is urging at least one person in every South Dakota household to learn Hands Only CPR during Heart Month in February.

About 90% of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. And, because about 70% of cardiac arrests happen at home, odds are the person who needs CPR will be a family member or friend. Hands-Only CPR is quick and simple to learn and can be performed by anyone. More importantly, if performed immediately, CPR can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.

Hands-Only CPR involves two simple steps, and anyone can learn it from a 90-second video available at heart.org/handsonlycpr.

  • Step 1: If a teen or adult in your home suddenly collapses, call 911 immediately.
  • Step 2: Place one hand on top of the other as shown in the video and push hard and fast on the victim’s chest.

“If you are called on to give CPR in an emergency, you will most likely be trying to save the life of a loved one: a spouse, a parent, grandparent, child or a friend,” said Dr. Michelle A. Albert, president of the American Heart Association and Walter A. Haas-Lucie Stern Endowed Chair in Cardiology and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “We are excited to support the American Heart Association’s Hands-Only CPR campaign and bring awareness to the importance of knowing CPR this Heart Month. We encourage people to be prepared for a cardiac emergency by learning Hands-Only CPR to help save lives.”

According to the American Heart Association, people feel more confident performing Hands-Only CPR and are more likely to remember the correct rate when trained to the beat of a familiar song. All songs in our ‘Don’t Drop the Beat’ playlist are between 100 – 120 beats per minute, the same rate at which rescuers should perform compressions when administering CPR. The beat of any of several songs including “Stayin’ Alive,” by the Bee Gees, “Crazy in Love,” by Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z, “Hips Don’t Lie,” by Shakira” or “Walk the Line,” by Johnny Cash can “Be the Beat” to save a life.

Visit heart.org/handsonlycpr to watch and share our Hands-Only CPR instructional    video. Be the beat and help save a life!

Mark your calendar for events throughout the month designed to help raise awareness of heart disease as the #1 killer of South Dakotans:

  • National Wear Red Day: Friday, February 3, South Dakotans are encouraged to wear red to help raise awareness that heart disease remains the #1 killer of women, taking more lives than all forms of cancer combined. Individuals and businesses can download materials at WearRedDay.org to participate.
  • Sioux Falls Go Red for Women: The iconic Sioux Falls Go Red for Women event will take place on Friday, February 3, at The District. Attendees will be inspired by survivors, learn heart-health tips from vendors, and have the opportunity to support the cause through a silent auction and donations. All proceeds benefit the Go Red for Women movement. For information and tickets, visit Heart.org/SiouxFallsGoRed.
  • Rapid City Heart Ball: On February 25, the “Unmasking the Mystery of Heart Disease”-themed Heart Ball event aims to raise dollars for the fight against heart disease and stroke. The Heart Ball promises to be an engaging evening of fun and passion bringing community and philanthropic leaders together. For event tickets and information, visit Heart.org/RapidCityHeartBall.

In addition to the events listed above, the American Heart Association also is offering “lunch and learn” webinars and Hands-Only CPR training opportunities in Sioux Falls and Rapid City throughout the month. For more information, visit www.heart.org/SouthDakota.

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