Free Hands-Only CPR Training Offered

Hard and fast–100 to 120 compressions per minute. That’s how you should administer chest compressions to someone who has had a sudden cardiac arrest.

Learning to give CPR is super easy. And the County Health and Human Services Agency, together with about a dozen organizations, will be teaching people how to perform it on Thursday, May 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The free “Sidewalk CPR” trainings will be offered at several locations throughout the region.

The goal is to train as many people as possible to perform hands-only CPR on adults.

“A cardiac arrest is a life-or-death situation,” said Supervisor Ron Roberts, a member of the County Board of Supervisors. “Everyone should learn how to do hands-only CPR. It only takes a few minutes.”

CPR used to include giving mouth-to-mouth breathing in combination with pushing down hard and fast on someone’s chest. However, the American Heart Association simplified the procedure to make it much easier for people to learn and now recommends doing just hands-only CPR. View a video demonstration of hands-only CPR.

“Hands-only CPR is easy to learn. It is also is safe and effective,” said Kristi L. Koenig, M.D., medical director for County of San Diego Emergency Medical Services. “Administering CPR early can save lives.”

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Also, the American Heart Association states that about 350,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur in the U.S. outside a hospital setting.  Approximately 90 percent of those who suffer a sudden cardiac arrest will die.  However, CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.

The annual “Sidewalk CPR Day” is part of the County’s Live Well San Diego vision, which aims to improve the health and safety of local residents.

The event is organized by the HHSA, the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, San Diego Project Heart Beat and several other agencies. In 2016, 3,438 people were trained to do hands-only CPR during “Sidewalk CPR Day” in San Diego County.

If you already know CPR, health officials urge you to download PulsePoint, a smartphone application that lets people trained in CPR know when their help is needed by someone nearby.

José A. Álvarez is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact