Do You Have a Minute? Here's How to Save a Life

Northwestern Medicine
Health and Wellness October 23, 2014
CCARES members set up two mannequins and trained attendees how to do chest-only compressionIt takes 30 seconds to learn how to save a life.

When an adult's heart suddenly stops beating without warning, it is known as sudden cardiac arrest. About 1,000 people every day in the United States suffer sudden cardiac arrest outside the hospital – at home, work and public places. Victims only have about 10 minutes before survival is impossible. Having someone administer hands-only CPR – also known as chest compressions – can double that person’s chance of survival.

“It’s very easy to learn, just push hard and fast in the center of a person’s chest,” said Jordan Kaylor, MD, a Northwestern Medicine emergency medicine physician. “I’ve seen firsthand in the emergency department what happens if a bystander doesn’t preform CPR. You don’t have to be a medical professional. All you have to do is simple chest compressions while someone else calls 911.”

Kaylor is the assistant director of Chicago Cardiac Arrest Resuscitation Education Service (CCARES), which consists of Northwestern Medicine emergency room doctors and medical students from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.  

CCARES started in 2011 and its mission is to increase the survival of sudden cardiac arrest victims in Chicago by partnering with agencies such as the Chicago Police Department, Chicago Public Schools and Chicago businesses to educate and raise awareness of the importance of bystander CPR and AED use. CCARES has also been integral on recent law changes in Illinois by advocating for CPR education in schools and amending the good Samaritan law protecting bystanders who assist.

The day before the Oct. 12 Chicago Marathon, Kaylor and other CCARES members set up two mannequins and trained more than 200 runners and members of the public on how to do chest-only compressions. Thy also sent an informational CPR email out to every runner.

Northwestern Medicine emergency room physician George Chiampas, DO is the founder and co-director of CCARES. For more information go to CCARES website.

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