By Diane Ako
HONOLULU (KHNL) -- In tonight's KHNL News 8 Safety Alert, we talk about the importance of CPR. The American Red Cross is starting a big push to get people trained in lifesaving skills like CPR. It's not just to help adults, it's also for infants and children!
Infants and children normally don't need CPR for the same reasons as adults do. While adults normally experience medical emergencies due to medical conditions like heart attacks, kids often suffer from exogenous traumas.
The American Red Cross Hawaii Chapter CEO Coralee Matayoshi said, "There could be accidents, near drownings, even SIDS, or poisoning, suffocation. Those are all the times when there wouldn't be enough oxygen in the body and you'd have to use rescue breaths and start CPR."
In a matter of minutes, a person can suffer brain damage or death. CPR is so important, Congress is promoting it this summer.
Matayoshi said,"The American Red Cross and American Heart Association are joining Congress in passing a bill designation the first week of June as National CPR and AED Awareness Week."
An AED is an automatic external defibrillator. It shocks the heart to a normal rhythm. Matayoshi says,"It's really important for bystanders to start CPR. Hopefully within 3-5 minutes there's access to an AED as well."
CPR for babies is slightly different from CPR for adults.
Matayoshi said,"It's same compressions - 30 and 2 breaths - but instead of using the palm of your hand, you use your fingers because it's too forceful."
Red Cross officials say it's best to take an infant CPR class because there are also different techniques to revive a choking infant.