Mouth-to-Mouth No Longer Required for CPR

DES MOINES, Iowa -- June1-7 is National CPR and AED Awareness Week. During this week the American Heart Association wants to raise awareness that over 326,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States.

When a person goes into cardiac arrest, their life is dependent on someone nearby knowing how to perform CPR or use an AED or automated external defibrillator.

"I died of a sudden cardiac arrest 13 years ago, but because of the immediate start of CPR and the quick arrival of an AED, I did not stay that way," Butch Gibbs a certified CPR and AED trainer said.

He and his wife Susie became trainers because of that moment.

Gibbs said they not only train, but helped to pass a law that Iowa high schoolers have to take a CPR class to graduate high school.

According to the American Heart Association, 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.

The mouth-to-mouth portion of CPR is no longer required to help save someone's life.

Hands only CPR has just two easy steps: If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, call 911; and push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the song “Stayin’ Alive.”

The song helps to do the compressions at 100 beats or compressions per minute and it's important to do this until help arrives while on the phone with 911.

"A lot of times people don't want to put their mouth on a strangers mouth so they wouldn't do anything at all. They'd wait for help. Check them to make sure they are unconscious and not breathing and then start doing chest compressions," Gibbs said.

AED machines can also be found in the majority of public buildings on the wall and they are easy to use.

"They were made so that a 7 or 8-year-old could use them. And CPR goes hand in hand with the AED machine," Susie Gibbs said.

The machine gives you directions so you don't need to be worried about hurting the person you are performing CPR on.