Avera Medical Minute AHH: Son performs CPR and saves mom’s life

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About 88% of people who experience out-of-hospital cardiac arrest do not survive. However, immediate CPR can double – or even triple – a victim’s chance of survival.

Lincoln High School sophomore Garrett Masters is getting CPR certified, along with his robotics team. Masters has seen firsthand how CPR can save a life.

“This summer, my mom and I were just chilling watching TV and she had, I guess it wasn’t a heart attack, but it was cardiac arrest,” said Masters.

Masters called 911 and was told to give CPR to him mom. He did that until paramedics arrived.

“At first I thought she was choking on something because she was sitting there, but then I quickly realized that wasn’t the case. And after I dialed 911, I had to get her on the ground. And it’s kind of the moments that you don’t really remember fully and time seems stretched out,” said Masters.

“You want to make sure you find that location and put the heel of your hand about an inch above that,” said Mary Houska, American Heart Association instructor with Heartstarters in Sioux Falls.

Houska explains hands-only CPR

“I just put my hands at the center of their chest and I push hard and fast 100 to 120 compressions per minute,” said Houska.

The other type of CPR requires giving breaths.

“The difference is I’m going to do 30 chest compressions and then give two breaths,” said Houska.

“You don’t think it’s going to happen to you necessarily but if happens to one of your family members or one of your friends, it’s important to know what to do in that situation,” said Julia Lair, Lincoln High School sophomore.

Masters says sharing this experience with his robotics team is very special. He wants everyone to know CPR because you never know when you may have to use it – just like he did with his mom.

“I think it’s super cool that all of us are doing it because it’s something that’s pretty easy to do. It’s just pushing on someone’s chest. And if that can help save a life, it’s definitely a skill that anyone who can should be able to use,” said Masters.

Each year, 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States. Statistics prove that if more people knew CPR, more lives could be saved.

For more information just call 877-AT-AVERA.