WASHINGTON — Teach yourself CPR? The American Heart Association says you can, with the help of an inflatable mannequin named Mini Anne and some simplified instructions. It’s part of a new push to nearly double the number of people who learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The urgency: Those heart-zapping defibrillators that are everywhere from shopping malls to people’s homes often aren’t enough to save lives - unless someone also performs CPR. The machines keep EKG-like recordings of heart rhythms that tell the tale of the almost-saved. It’s a message that’s been somewhat overshadowed by the gee-whiz technology of ‘automated external defibrillators,’ or AEDs. ‘People are doing the right thing in establishing lay-rescuer AED programs. Now we need to come back and make sure there’s sufficient emphasis on the CPR and not just on the technology,’ says Mary Fran Hazinski, a clinical nurse specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, who helped the heart association develop its newest CPR guidelines. More than 300,000 Americans each year die of cardiac arrest. The heart’s electrical system abruptly goes haywire so that the heart quivers instead of beats, and the victim collapses. Without help, death occurs within 10 minutes, before an ambulance […]

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