Independence Visitor Center offers free lessons on how to save a life

Friday marked the start of National CPR Awareness Week.

Dan Wing
June 01, 2018 - 4:25 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Friday marked the start of National CPR Awareness Week, and the Independence Visitor Center played host to The American Heart Association and Penn Medicine's Mobile CPR Project, teaching anybody who had ten minutes to spare the ability to save a life.

A few dozen manikins were scattered about on the lawn in front of the Visitor Center with a handful of instructors there to walk anybody interested through the process of "Hands Only" CPR. Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the American Heart Association, Jennifer Davis, says mouth-to-mouth really isn't needed in most emergencies and may prevent some people from learning CPR or helping in an emergency.

"As long as you're calling 9-1-1 immediately, beginning chest compressions to the beat of 'Staying Alive' it will provide enough oxygen supplied to your vital organs until EMS arrives," Davis said. "So we take out the ick factor."

John was visiting his daughter from South Carolina, and even though he learned CPR a long time ago, he wanted to get a bit of a refresher course. He was feeling pretty confident after his lesson too.

"It's so easy," he said, "and without the mouth-to-mouth, like I said, everybody can do it. Everybody can do it."

In addition to the manikins, a virtual reality simulation was also provided putting the user in a situation where someone in the room collapses, and it's up to you to save their life by going through the steps of calling 9-1-1, checking for a pulse, using an AED if one is available, and then providing chest compressions until emergency responders arrive.