“Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive” — That’s what I was singing after I left Prisma Health Heart Hospital after a recent education for Hands-Only CPR and how to use an AED (read: automated external defibrillator).
City Editor David here. At 104 beats per minute, “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees is the pace you push when using Hands-Only CPR. The education left me feeling empowered by the knowledge and like I was ready to help save a life.
Heart disease doesn’t discriminate, affecting men and women across the country, but especially here in South Carolina. It’s a sobering thought — one that makes learning CPR and AED use not just useful, but essential.
What we tried:
Dawn Kimura, RN, guided me through our session and debunked the myth that heart attack symptoms are always like what we see on TV. It’s not just about dramatic chest clutching — symptoms can range from shortness of breath and unexpected fatigue to a persistent backache.
Do you know what to do in the case of a heart emergency? Read on to see what we learned.
What not to miss:
Here’s what you should do if a heart emergency arises:
- Call 911 first. They provide critical medical support, not just transportation.
- Check if the person is responsive, breathing, and has a pulse.
- No pulse or breathing? Time for hands-only CPR. Push hard and fast in the chest center to the rhythm of “Stayin’ Alive.”
- If an AED is available, use it. It’s user-friendly and guides you through each step.
Familiarize yourself with the AED beforehand — in emergencies, every second counts. This YouTube video is an excellent visual guide.
Prisma Health’s training on heart attack response teaches how to identify symptoms and take immediate, life-saving actions.
What we’re still talking about:
The empowering feeling of being prepared for heart emergencies and the importance of recognizing all types of heart attack symptoms.
Now, I’m no longer just a bystander. With this knowledge and the rhythm of a timeless tune, I’m equipped to make a difference in an emergency. It’s amazing how music and a bit of learning can empower us to save lives.
How you can experience this:
Participate in similar CPR and AED education programs offered by health facilities or community centers.