Proper CPR training can help save lives - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Proper CPR training can help save lives

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Knowing how to properly perform the heimlich maneuver and CPR could mean the difference in saving someone's life.

From EMS training to emergency  management planning, Jason Mahoney, an emergency preparedness coordinator from Saint Vincent's Healthcare has more than a decade of experience in his field.

"When someone is choking, the normal response is what we've taught for millions of decades and decades is the hemlich manuever. Especially on adults, you ask them if they're choking and get their okay to help them, " Mahoney said. "Basically stand behind them and put one fist below the opening on their ribc age and force air there that will hopefully expel the object that they're choking on."

When it comes to children, he says it depends on their size, but with older children he said the same approach applies as adults. 

Now there is a small possibility while performing the hemlich manuever that you could cause an injury, but overall he says the main concern is the 

person's lack of adequate airway instead of the secondary injuries we may cause.

"Typically the injuries that are caused are much less life threatning than not being able to breathe so we tend to not focus on that so much, but

really wanting to help alleviate that person choking." Mahoney adds. 

For those who aren't fully trained in CPR, he demonstrates a short course called "hands only." In this process, you would apply chest 

compressions to the unconcious person until professional medical help arrives.

"Place your hand in the middle of the chest, the palm on one hand there, your other hand on top of it. You want to press straight down a couple inches and we want to do that 100 to 120 times a minute. so it ends up looking like this," said Mahoney. "We want to make sure we are pressing deep enough but we want to make sure the chest comes up to its normal level each time we push."

Now Mahoney recommends humming the tune of staying alive by the bee gees to get the correct rate. The beat of that song is roughly 100 beats per

minute and serves as a good reference to get the most accurate rate. Every February Saint Vincent's Healthcare teaches a free CPR training class. The next date will be February 28, 2018 at the Mansfield health education center. 

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