The Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the Boston Marathon, produced a “hands only” CPR instructional video.  The Boston Marathon will be held on April 16th, and creating awareness of hands only CPR may save lives of participants and viewers.

Cardiac arrest happens at races more frequently at than you’d expect, but the long race puts stress on the hearts of even healthy athletes.  The BAA includes cardiac wellness medical advice for its runners.  A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, among the 31 cases that had complete clinical data, researchers found that the 8 survivors had received CPR from a bystander.  Of the 23 who died, only 10 received CPR.

This video isn’t as entertaining, perhaps, as the hands only CPR instructional videos that feature actors like Ken Jeong or Vinnie Jones, but its no-nonsense approach will tell you what you need to know if you see a runner collapse to the ground during the race:

  1. Go to the runner.  Don’t assume that someone else will.
  2. Tap the runner on the shoulder, speak loudly and determine whether the runner is unconscious.
  3. If the person is unresponsive, have someone call 911.  It’s better to have someone else call 911 so you can start compression right away.
  4. If the runner isn’t breathing, start chest compressions.  Watch the video for complete information about each step.

Anyone who has a cardiac arrest at this year’s Boston Marathon will be closer than ever to assistance.  Not only will 1,000 Boston Marathon runners and volunteers receive training in hands only CPR, including seeing the instructional video, on the weekend before the race, but the marathon will have 28 medical stations and roving volunteers every half-mile with portable defibrillators, or AED devices.

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