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CMS testifies before City Council on “hands-only” CPR campaign

Empowering bystanders to help save lives.

Founded in 1850 to promote public health, your CMS is leading a modern-day campaign to instruct adults on giving “hands-only” CPR to victims of sudden cardiac arrest that occurs outside the hospital setting.

The hands-only CPR campaign operates under the aegis of Project SMILE (Saving More Illinois Lives through Education), a growing coalition of health-related organizations and medical professionals.

Our efforts have sparked the interest of the Chicago City Council’s Committee on Police and Fire.  At the Committee’s invitation, we gave testimony and showed aldermen how this simple tool empowers citizens to help save lives.

Joining me at City Hall were Marc Levison, assistant deputy fire commissioner for EMS services, and George Chiampas, DO, director of CCARES (Chicago Cardiac Arrest Resuscitation Educational Service).

Dr. Chiampas, who is also assistant professor of emergency and sports medicine, Northwestern University, and medical director for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, gave aldermen a live hands-only demonstration.  (For a video demo and comprehensive information, please go to

To further dramatize our testimony, we relayed an amazing survival story from Minnesota.  As recounted in numerous news stories, a man received 96 minutes of both hands-only and conventional CPR from more than two dozen different responders after he collapsed on the sidewalk.

The obvious lesson here is that all adults should be able to recognize the warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest, and be ready to administer good, hard, fast CPR.

It can be a lifesaver.

David A. Loiterman, MD, FACS
President, Chicago Medical Society

Photo: Members of the Project SMILE coalition with Ald. Laurino. Following testimony on hands-only CPR, members of the Project SMILE coalition joined Ald Margaret Laurino outside the City Council Chamber (from left): Amer Z. Aldeen, MD, Dept. of Emergency Medicine, Northwestern; George Chiampas, DO, director CCARES (Chicago Cardiac Arrest Resuscitation Education Service); David A. Loiterman, MD, FACS, President, CMS; Ald. Laurino; and Robert Herskovitz, JD, Deputy Regional Health Administrator, Region V, U.S. Dept. of HHS.

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