Tempe High School students learn life-saving skill; Do you know CCR?

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Nearly 800 Tempe High School students learned a life-saving technique on Tuesday.

The students were taught how to perform cardiocerebral resuscitation (CCR), which is replacing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as the practice of choice in cases of cardiac arrest.

CCR, which also is called "compression-only CPR" or "Hands-Only™ CPR," is becoming widely known as a more effective technique that is not only less complicated, it's easier to learn and remember. It requires only chest compression, no mouth-to-mouth ventilation.

Just how effective is CCR?

According to a June 2008 article in EMS World, "Cardiocerebral resuscitation (CCR) is a new approach to patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest that has been shown to improve rates of neurologically intact survival by 250 percent to 300 percent over the approach advocated by the 2000 American Heart Association guidelines."

EMS personnel started using CCR in Tucson in 2003 and in Phoenix just two years later.

"Providers in these communities have viscerally experienced the improved results," wrote Drs. Gordon Ewy, Michael Kellum and Bentley Bobrow in the EMS World piece.

In 2008 the American Heart Association endorsed Hands-Only™ CPR, and has been working to spread the knowledge ever since.

"Increasing the number of people who know about Hands-Only™ CPR will increase the chance that someone can help when an adult suddenly collapses, and more lives can be saved," reads AHA's website dedicated to Hands-Only™ CPR -- HandsOnlyCPR.org. The site even features a "hands-on" interactive tool to learn Hands-Only™ CPR on a variety of body types.

During Tuesday's event, the students were taught that there are two steps to saving a life. First, call 911. Second, begin Hands-Only™ CPR by using the heel of the hand to push hard and fast in the center of the patient's chest.

The one-day event at Tempe High was a collaboration with the City of Tempe, the Tempe Union High School District, Tempe St. Luke's Hospital and others and resulted in a daylong series of training sessions.

To learn more about Hands-Only™ CPR, call 1-877-AHA-4CPR or 1-877-242-4277. To find CPR training near you. visit Heart.org.