How 5 Minutes in an Airport can Save a Life

American Heart Association, Hands Only CPR

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written in partnership with the Anthem Foundation, however, all opinions are my own.

Do you travel a lot? I do and I love it, however, I hate layovers. They always seem to be either too short, where I find myself running through the airport breathing like I’m having an asthma attack to make my flight or too long, where I feel like I’m sitting around wasting my time when all I want to do is get to my destination. I’m all about a good journey but sitting in an airport feels like wasting precious time.

Sure, short layovers make for a good YouTube video but it’s not exactly fun for the poor person running through O’Hare bobbing and weaving trying to make their connection. It’s not particularly healthy for some of us. We’re not all marathon runners, most of us are average middle-aged parents living in the land of the biggie-sized and the home of the sit around and binge watch all day. One time trying to make my connection to a flight to L.A., I was convinced that I was going to have a heart attack right there in the airport. By the time I got on my flight, I was doubled over out of breath and all red in the face.

Speaking of heart attacks and long layovers, did you know that now people can learn Hands-Only CPR through Anthem Foundation supported training kiosks in about five minutes while they wait for their flights in many U.S. airports?  I had no idea this was a thing. Pretty awesome, right?

Each year, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside the hospital, and about 20 percent occur in public places such as airports. Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR for cardiac arrest when it occurs in public, and CPR can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.

The interactive kiosks are designed to train large numbers of people on this simple, lifesaving technique. Each Anthem Foundation- supported kiosk has a touch screen with a short video that provides an overview of Hands-Only CPR, followed by a practice session and a 30-second test. With the help of a practice mannequin or a rubber torso, the kiosk gives feedback about the depth and rate of compressions, as well as proper hand placement – factors that influence the effectiveness of CPR.

Travelers can also select Spanish from the kiosk’s main touchscreen. The Spanish language capability along with closed captioning in Spanish is available on all Anthem Foundation-supported kiosks at airports.

Hands-Only CPR has two steps, performed in this order: when you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, call 911. Then, push hard and fast in the center of the chest until help arrives. Remember anyone can save a life.

I can’t think of a more productive way to spend my layover than learning how to save someone’s life. Just as I can’t think of a worse way to spend my layover than by standing around helplessly watching as someone else dies from a heart attack, maybe some poor out of shape mom, like me, who had to run through the airport to make her flight.


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