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Give a hand to “hands-only”

Children can lead as lifesavers
Published May 2012

Illinois citizens can breathe easier thanks to the unrelenting efforts of two Chicago physicians who are leading efforts to teach everyone from school children to senior citizens how to fearlessly jump in and provide life-saving hands-only CPR.

Dr. Chiampas targets school kids

As director of CCARES (Chicago Cardiac Arrest Resuscitation Education Service), George Chiampas, DO, recently helped bring a bill before the Illinois House (HB 5114) requiring all public school students enrolled in grades six through eight to watch a training video on cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and the use of automated external defibrillators. Recently passed in the House, the bill was scheduled to be introduced to the State Senate at the end of April.  The bill was sponsored by State Rep. Dan Burke, who also helped advocate the “Colleen O’Sullivan Law,” requiring physical fitness facilities to have at least one AED on the premises.

“This can have a huge impact.  We can basically change a culture by encouraging bystanders, including schoolchildren, to assist in someone’s survival by using hands-only CPR.  And they can get the training by simply watching a video that’s no more than 10-minutes long as well as cost-effective”

Dr. Chiampas is designing the video to target sixth through eighth graders, and is working with his colleague Amer Aldeen, MD, and medical students at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine to develop the piece. The video ultimately will be offered to the entire Illinois state school system at no cost, through a website link. “What better way than to begin involving the lay public than by empowering children to save lives?” he asked.

Dr. Chiampas says the hands-only technique is a life skill that is as easy for people to use in an emergency as applying the Heimlich maneuver. He points out that survival rates can increase three to four times for victims of sudden cardiac arrest because bystanders can jump in to help a stricken person before the paramedics arrive.

Dr. Murthy has much to SMILE about

Vemuri S. Murthy, MD, has been making community presentations to motivate the public to confidently use hands -only CPR. Dr. Murthy, who is founder and chairman of Project SMILE (Saving More Illinois Lives through Education), says the ease of learning and applying the hands-only technique, coupled with the amended Illinois Good Samaritan Act, will further encourage bystanders to quickly assist when they see someone suffering from sudden cardiac arrest.

Dr. Murthy is also teaching American Heart Association (AHA) courses for CMS and ISMS members. He presented the first AHA advanced cardiovascular life support course during the Midwest Clinical Conference this past March.  The course provided AHA course-completion cards and 7 hours of AMA Category 1 CME credit.

For more information:
Training video:

Project SMILE:  Please consider asking your hospital to become a partner. Contact Christine Fouts (312) 670-2550, ext. 326,

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