CPR Awareness Week

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One simple course and it could be the most important thing you ever do.

I learned how cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) saves lives.

"If there is an emergency where someone is unaware of how exactly to perform CPR, they can do citizen's CPR or hands-free CPR,” says Sharon Kesselring, financial development director for the Mid-Ohio Valley chapter of the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross certifies people in life-saving CPR, a class that teaches how to save a life.

"Citizen's CPR is not meant to take the place of a certified course,” Kesselring says. “But (it) is meant to allow an individual who has seen someone fall and recognizes that they are in cardiac distress and is able to assist.”

The course also demonstrates how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED), something only used by doctors years ago.

"Now anyone, especially those that are trained in it can use it,” Kesselring says. “The device actually talks you through how to use an AED."

Summer is an important time to know CPR.

"Let's face it, we all have a lot of extraneous activities that we're performing; we're outside, we're playing ball, we're walking an 18-hole golf course. We're doing activities that perhaps our bodies weren't quite adjusted to through the wintertime,” Kesselring says.

Certain activities may strain your heart.

"Then cause a cardiac arrest or cardiac dysfunction,” Kesselring says. “Those folks that know CPR or especially those in water areas and large gathering areas can help save lives as a result of knowing CPR."

There's no age limit to take a class, just a willingness and ability to learn the material.

"We would definitely encourage anyone that's able to perform the function to sign up for a course,” Kesselring says.

Higher learning gets citizen's CPR.

"Into our area high schools because of a grant sustained by the sisters of St. Joseph's Charitable Fund,” Kesselring says.

To learn more about CPR or if you're ready to give two to three hours of your time, just go to redcross.org and click on ‘take a class.’

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