Interactive airport kiosks teach travelers CPR

The interactive kiosks have video instruction and a rubber mannequin for travelers to practice on; the mannequins provide feedback about chest compressions

DALLAS — Airport travelers can now put their time to good use and take five minutes to learn the simple, yet lifesaving skills of hands-only CPR via interactive training kiosks. The kiosks are set to debut at six major airport hubs across the country, courtesy of the American Heart Association and the Anthem Foundation.

Each hands-only CPR training kiosk features a touch screen with a video program that gives a brief "how-to," followed by a practice session and a 30-second CPR test. With the help of a practice mannequin, the kiosk provides feedback about the depth and rate of compressions and proper hand placement – factors that influence the effectiveness of CPR.

The kiosks will be available at Chicago O'Hare International, Indianapolis International, Las Vegas' McCarran International, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International and Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall airports. Two additional kiosks will be available at The Global Center for Health Innovation in Cleveland, Ohio and Anthem's office in Washington, D.C.

Every year, more than 359,000 cardiac arrests occur outside the hospital and more than 20 percent occur in public places like airports, casinos and sporting facilities.

"Cardiac arrest remains a leading cause of death in the United States, and survival depends on immediately receiving CPR from someone nearby," said Clifton Callaway, chair of the AHA's Emergency Cardiovascular Care committee. "Although in-person training is still the best way to learn high-quality CPR, the kiosk will provide additional training that could make a difference and save the life of someone you love."

The launch of these seven kiosks comes on the heels of the successful pilot kiosk installed in 2013 at the Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport. This kiosk has trained more than 25,000 travelers.

"For those who suffer cardiac arrest outside of the hospital, only 10 percent survive – but effective bystander CPR provided immediately after cardiac arrest can double or even triple these chances," Dr. Craig Samitt, Executive Vice President at Anthem, Inc. said.

"That's why for the past four years, we've been working closely with the American Heart Association to help educate people about hands-only CPR and we're excited to launch these new kiosks as an extension of this campaign. To date, we've helped to educate and train more than three million people in this life-saving skill with the goal of preparing people to act in an emergency to save the lives of strangers, or those they love most," Sammit said.

Five years ago, AHA simplified the steps of CPR to encourage more people to take action: if a bystander sees a teen or adult collapse, he or she should first call 9-1-1, then push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of "Stayin' Alive," which has the perfect cadence for proper CPR. Hands-only CPR removes the step of rescue breaths; bystanders should simply keep pushing until emergency help arrives.

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