By Diane Ako
HONOLULU (KHNL) -- The Red Cross is starting up a public awareness campaign on the importance of CPR.
It's a lead up to a big legislative recognition happening nationwide this summer.
Congress designated the first week of June, "National CPR and Automated External Defibrillator Awareness Week."
Would you know what to do in a medical emergency? You could help save a life by learning CPR.
"Heart attacks are the leading cause of deaths among adults. CPR doubles the chance of survival," said Coralie Matayoshi with the American Red Cross, Hawaii Chapter.
CPR Provides a trickle of oxygenated blood to the brain and heart.
"The combination of that helps people survive until the heart can be restarted with the AED," said Matayoshi.
AN AED Is an automated external defibrillator.
"It buys time until the EMS can get there," added Matayoshi.
Matayoshi says more than 200,000 Americans have heart attacks each year. And up to 50,000 of them could have been saved through CPR and AED's.
The Red Cross hopes National CPR and AED Awareness Week will prompt communities across the islands and the country to properly respond if tragedy strikes.
"About 75% of the heart attacks occur at home. There's not going to be a doctor around. Family members have to be prepared," Matayoshi said.
And because many people consider their pets as family, the Red Cross offers a pet CPR class!
"It's the same but instead of mouth to mouth, it's mouth to snout."