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Free ‘educational’ CPR classes to be offered Saturday

By Staff | Jun 3, 2016

Residents can learn the basics of CPR on Saturday during a free one-hour course in Fort Myers.

Hosted by the Lee Memorial Health System and Lee County Emergency Medical Services, the class will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. and again from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. at the Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers. The course is offered annually by the LMHS, with last year’s held at the Cape Coral Hospital.

“By teaching standard CPR – the importance of chest compressions – you increase the survival rate by almost 50 percent,” Melissa Benson, a cardiovascular patient care accreditation specialist, said.

“Learn it and share it with someone,” she added.

CPR certification cards will not be handed out to participants.

“This is strictly to educate the community,” Benson said.

As of Wednesday, both time slots had vacancies.

Designed after the American Heart Association’s standards, the class will include videos, room instruction and practice sessions with mannequins and an automated external defibrillator, or AED.

“We go through the course of identifying if they need CPR,” she said.

“I will also be educating on early heart attack warning signs,” Benson added.

In the case of an emergency, call 911 first. Next, shake the victim and yell, “Are you OK?”

“Make sure they’re unresponsive,” she said.

CPR compressions should be between the breast plates, above the sternum, to a depth of 2 inches.

“You’re going to do it fast and hard,” Benson said.

“The 911 operator should walk them through it,” she added.

Humans only have a 20-minute reserve of oxygen.

“It takes about six really good compressions to get the blood circulating,” Benson said. “You are effectively pumping blood to help keep them alive. You’re supplying blood to the vital organs.”

For a video on CPR, visit the American Heart Association at: cpr.heart.org.

Advance reservations for the class are preferred. To reserve a spot, call 239-343-6853.

If vacancies are still available Saturday, reservations will be taken day of.

Lee Memorial Hospital is at 2776 Cleveland Ave.