Posted: Oct 24, 2013 8:50 PM by Dennis Bragg - MTN News
MISSOULA - A successful Gallatin County program is resulting in a dramatic increase in the number of people surviving cardiac arrest.
Now, that program is going statewide to teach anyone that wants to learn the newer, more effective method of administering "CPR".
Years of practice have shown the effectiveness of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, or CPR. But for many, the fear of "doing it wrong", or in more recent years, becoming exposed to disease, has been a major inhibitor.
That's all changing.
"There's no more mouth-to-mouth. That's the key. When someone suffers sudden cardiac arrest we've done away with all the breathing, the positioning, the airway. Just start compressions. So for the lay person, to begin compressions immediately enhances survival rates tremendously," said Kevin Lauer, assist. Fire Chief Gallatin Gateway.
At this recent class in Missoula, instructors with the Gallatin Heart Rescue program showed local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and their leaders how quickly they can learn the "hands only" CPR method.
"Take something that they think they have to go to a four or five hour class to learn and to be able learn it in their own homes, or at their own groups and organizations like the Boy Scouts today, and be able learn it in under an hour, and realize that they're going to be able to take a skill they can use for the rest of the life. To help save another life," said Mike Pasque, Gallatin Heart Rescue.
It's still hard work, but it's a system that's faster to learn and can be applied with a lot more confidence.
"The Scout motto is to be prepared. So this fits really well with the Scout motto to be prepared. I myself was involved on a victim who was suffering cardiac arrest three years ago. And because of what we did, we were able to save a man 70-years-old and today he's 73. It's very important," said Tony Higuera/Mullan Trail District Chairman B.S.A.
"For every minute that CPRs delayed there's a 10 to 15 percent decrease in survivability. So seconds count," said Lauer.
More than 10,000 Montanans have taken the free course since last year, and anyone from young to old are being invited to join this growing group of potential life savers.