Have you taken a CPR class? Do you know about the free American Heart Association “hands-only CPR” app for iPhone, Android, & Palm Pre? Kudos to the American Heart Association for jumping into the iPhone app arena. This app is a must have for adults and kids (yes, kids as young as the age of 9 can perform effective CPR). It’s not nearly as fun as angry birds, but it is short, to the point, and doesn’t take up much space on your phone. The Hands-only CPR app illustrates proper hand placement and has a ‘verbal’ tone to help you understand the pace of doing the compressions. Viewing this 60 sec app on your phone every couple of months is one way to keep the basics of hands- only CPR.
What are Chicago CPR’s suggestions for the American Heart Association? Perhaps a little more reflection regarding the intention of the app. We find the purpose of the app conflicting. It has a one touch “911′ connection as part of the app, which implies that the purpose is to use the app during the actual emergency. Yet, there is only an illustration of hand placement to guide the rescuer, and no verbal compression tips. We know from our experience that a “picture” is not nearly enough. Additionally, what if the rescuer is alone? Even the best multi-taskers cannot call 911, talk to the dispatcher, and look at the image to determine hand placement, all at the same time. We would have liked more audio prompting about how hard to compress, how to position your arms to leverage upper body strength, what to do if you get tired, etc.
So, what is Chicago CPR’s recommendation to the public?
- Download the free CPR app so the basic information is at your fingertips
- Talk to everyone in your family about the importance of learning CPR.
- Attend a ‘live’ CPR certification class where you can practice on training manikins and learn the information from real-life, AHA-certified rescuers. This is the one way to learn the nuances of effective compressions. And, remember, survival rate is directly linked to the quality of CPR as well as early access to advanced medical care.