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Mouth-to-mouth contact is one of the main reasons a person hesitates to give cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR.

In today’s world where germs are feared, and often for good reason, people are less and less likely to react quickly to an emergency situation if they don’t know the victim.

Luckily, a new form of resuscitation has surfaced and proved to work better in terms of non-medically trained individuals helping a cardiac arrest victim until an ambulance arrives.

On Friday, July 22, Sedona Fire District Fire Marshal Gary Johnson trained members of our staff in cardiocerebral resuscitation, or CCR.

CCR consists solely of chest compressions, taking the fear of mouth-to-mouth contact out of the equation.

Our staff decided to receive training after reporting a story of one man saving his longtime friend’s life on the golf course using the new method.

We figured if something happens in our office, or while we are out in the community, we should be prepared.

Other businesses are also taking a lead in training their employees to increase the chances of survival if one of them or a customer goes into cardiac arrest.

CPR training in high school seemed intense and complicated counting the number of chest compressions compared to breaths given to the victim. CCR, on the other hand, falls more in line with a person’s natural response to a high-stress situation — just start pushing.

While there is some technique involved, the premise of the procedure is to get the blood and oxygen flowing quickly.

Johnson demonstrated how, even without administering mouth to mouth, simply pushing in on a person’s lungs naturally causes air to leave the cavity and then refill the space when pressure is release, which brings into play one important difference between CPR and CCR. In CCR, the person administering the chest compressions must be sure his or her hands completely release from the chest between compressions so the lungs can fill fully with air.

Chest compressions need to be administered rapidly — approximately 100 per minute — to be effective, and Johnson said it’s always helpful if more than one person can take turns working on the victim.

Johnson also pointed out, like in CPR, it is important to first determine the victim is not breathing before compressions begin. CCR is also to be used only on adults and never children.

The first step to save lives is for the public to be aware, educated and trained to step up and help out while medical crews are on their way.

If you, your family or your co-workers aren’t trained in CCR, contact your local fire district or department or ambulance service to find out about training opportunities so you are prepared.

Every minute counts when a heart stops beating.


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