County com­mis­sion­ers prac­tice CPR to the beat of pop­u­lar Bee Gees song

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Michael P. Rel­la­han mrel­la­han@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Ch­escoCourtNews on Twit­ter

WEST CH­ESTER >> There was disco mu­sic and laugh­ter at the Ch­ester County com­mis­sion­ers meet­ing Tues­day as the three of­fi­cials got hand­son train­ing on a trio of rub­ber­ized dolls to the amuse­ment of those in the board room.

But the mat­ter at hand was as se­ri­ous as the prover­bial heart at­tack.

Com­mis­sion­ers Michelle Kich­line, Kathi Coz­zone, and Ter­ence Far­rell were taken through the steps of so-called “im­me­di­ate hands only CPR” as part of the ef­fort to pro­mote healthy liv­ing and emer­gency pre­pared­ness dur­ing Amer­i­can Heart Month. Per­form­ing

some form of CPR (car­diopul­monary re­sus­ci­ta­tion) in­creases by two or three times the chances of a per­son sur­viv­ing a heart at­tack,

they were told.

Bobby Kagel, di­rec­tor of the county’s Depart­ment of Emer­gency Ser­vices, ex­plained that even though

CPR is the most ef­fec­tive way of help­ing some­one who suf­fers a car­diopul­monary emer­gency, many of those who have full train­ing in the ways of CPR some­times panic or hes­i­tate when con­fronted with a sit­u­a­tion ne­ces­si­tat­ing the tech­nique.

Some­times they are wor­ried about re­mem­ber­ing the steps, and some­times wor­ried about the mouth to mouth con­tact they were trained to use.

So Kagel said that emer­gency re­spon­ders are urg­ing those who wit­ness heart at­tacks or strokes to use the sim­ple “hands only” tech­nique, and to re­mem­ber their fa­vorite disco hit.

“When you see a teenager or an adult col­lapse,” Kagel said, the first thing you should do is call 9-1-1

for help. Then, he said, put your hands in the cen­ter of the per­son’s chest and “sim­ply push hard and fast at 120 beats per minute.” The eas­i­est way to gauge that pace is to sing along to The Bee Gees’ “Satur­day Night Fever” hit, “Stayin’ Alive.”

“Every time you tap your feet to the disco, you’re go­ing to de­press,” the vic­tim’s chest, Kagel told the com­mis­sion­ers as they prac­ticed on the dolls. “You want to get them help right away.” He said that those who be­gin CPR on a vic­tim should con­tinue to keep the beat up un­til paramedics ar­rive and tell them they will take over.

Ac­cord­ing to the county’s procla­ma­tion for Amer­i­can Heart Month, it was put into place by Pres­i­dent Lyn­don B. John­son in Fe­bru­ary 1964, when more than half the deaths in the United States were caused by car­dio­vas­cu­lar disease. The death rate for heart disease has fallen dra­mat­i­cally since the 1960s, but it re­mains a lead­ing cause of death for men and women, ac­count­ing for more than 17.3 mil­lion deaths each year world­wide – a num­ber that is pre­dicted to rise to more than 23.6 mil­lion by 2030.

Ac­cord­ing to Jean Cas­ner, di­rec­tor of the county’s Health Depart­ment, her staff en­gages the com­mu­nity with a num­ber of ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams in­clud­ing CPR train­ing, and reg­u­larly of­fers health screen­ings for blood pres­sure and choles­terol lev­els in an ef­fort to help pre­vent heart disease.

She said the best pre­vention is to make peo­ple aware of how to make healthy choices in their phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and nu­tri­tion. A sim­ple ex­er­cise such as walk­ing will help with one’s abil­ity to stave off heart prob­lems, she noted.


On Valen­tine’s Day, Ch­ester County Com­mis­sion­ers, from left, Ter­ence Far­rell, Michelle Kich­line and Kathi Coz­zone prac­ticed hands-only CPR to call at­ten­tion to Amer­i­can Heart Month. Hands-only CPR is a sim­ple two-step pro­ce­dure to aid a per­son suf­fer­ing a heart at­tack: first, call 9-1-1, then per­form rapid press­ing, at a rate of 100 to 120 com­pres­sions per minute on the chest of the vic­tim. The com­mis­sion­ers prac­ticed to the beat of the song “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, which can help keep the cor­rect pace for CPR, ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion.


Ch­ester County Safe Schools Plan­ning Co­or­di­na­tor Chrissy DePaolan­to­nio and Deputy Di­rec­tor of EMS Harry Moore hold “Res­cue An­nie’s” used to prac­tice CPR.


On Valen­tine’s Day Ch­ester County Deputy Di­rec­tor of EMS, Harry Moore, left dis­cussed hands-only CPR with Ch­ester County Com­mis­sion­ers, from left, Ter­ence Far­rell, Michelle Kich­line and Kathi Coz­zone dur­ing the Ch­ester County Com­mis­sion­ers’ Sun­shine Meet­ing Tues­day. Fe­bru­ary is Amer­i­can Heart Month. Heart disease is the lead­ing cause of death for adults in the United States and world­wide.


Ch­ester County Health Di­rec­tor Jeanne E. Cas­ner, MPH, PMP speaks to the county com­mis­sion­ers about Amer­i­can Heart Month.

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