What would you do if someone in your workplace or next to you at the grocery suddenly dropped to the ground and stopped breathing?
The answer is hopefully save his or her life.
That’s the goal of TAKE10 Cincinnati, a free, 10-minute training on hands-only CPR — an initiative also being taken up by physicians and medical staff at UC Health’s West Chester Hospital and University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
“For every minute without a heart beat, survival drops 10 percent,” said Ryan Burke, emergency management officer at West Chester Hospital, adding the average response time of an ambulance is four minutes.
Research in the past decade on the effectiveness of CPR shows that compression-only CPR is the most important at the onset of cardiac arrest, rather than focusing on the airway — as previously thought, said Dr. Dustin Calhoun, an emergency physician in West Chester.
Calhoun is part of the effort to train local emergency responders, residents and the business community on the “simple concept” of hands-only CPR.
Calhoun said while waiting for first responders to arrive, hands-only CPR is a life-saving technique for someone in cardiac arrest whose breathing or heartbeat has stopped.
The best predictor of survival for someone who goes into cardiac arrest outside of the hospital, is whether their pulse has returned by the time they make it to a hospital, Calhoun said.
“Our goal is to have somebody else get to them when the heart is still viable,” Calhoun said. “We need to get people in the community who know good CPR and can do it.”
Calhoun said by the time the airway becomes important — three to five minutes — an EMS squad should be on scene.
Traditional CPR courses run about eight hours, but UC Health’s TAKE10 Cincinnati program just takes 10 minutes to teach the basics of compression-only CPR. Any group can request a free training led by UC College of Medicine students at a location of your choosing.
"We're pushing community CPR with TAKE10 Cincinnati," Calhoun said. "Get a bunch of compressions in at a short time," in fact the goal is to hit 100-120 compressions per minute to mimic the heart working.
This concept of hands-only CPR is also known as high-performance CPR.
The concept got traction nationally by the Resuscitation Academy in Seattle, Wash. Calhoun attended an eight-hour training class by the Seattle-based group at a January conference of the National Association of EMS Physicians.
Calhoun said the training course emphasized the quality of chest compressions needed and tested the physicians using a technological simulator that shows “you aren’t doing it as well as you thought.”
Calhoun said UC Health is “pushing” the concept of high-performance CPR in southwest Ohio by training EMS staff from local fire departments, as well as community members through TAKE10.
“Having more and more people trained and comfortable (with CPR) is so important,” Calhoun said.
Lt. Joe McElroy, firefighter-paramedic at Deerfield Twp. Fire, said he attended a continuing education course by Dr. Calhoun about two weeks ago that emphasized “non-stop CPR with minimal interruptions to increase blood flow to the heart.”
McElroy said unfortunately in his nearly 20 years as a paramedic, when he arrives on the scene of someone in cardiac arrest, CPR has usually not been started.
“It’s a public thing, everyone says ‘I should get trained in CPR,’” McElroy said, but they don’t take the time out. “In my career by far, CPR was not started. The CPR increases their chance of success.”
Burke said the hope is more people will be equipped with the skills needed to provide hands-only CPR in the workplace, where you “spend a third of life.”
Calhoun said in the next year he hopes to develop a similar model to the Resuscitation Academy for southwest Ohio by first running a trial at a large-scale fire department such as the Cincinnati Fire Department.
In the meantime, Burke said West Chester Hospital is training EMS and pre-hospital providers, such as road patrol officers, on hands-only CPR through community classes.