Hands-only CPR saves Delray Beach man's life

Chart Your Heart and learn CPR

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - Most people who have a sudden cardiac arrest die because they don't get CPR from someone nearby.

The American Heart Association hopes to change that with "hands-only" CPR.

"My life was saved and I woke up in the hospital and I had friends there. Let me hold on a second," said Tom Maimone.

It's a story that Maimone of Delray Beach still finds very hard to tell.

"I dropped dead in the guy’s driveway. I had what they called a sudden cardiac arrest," he said.

CPR saved his life.

"If it wasn't for the American Heart Association, I can tell you that I wouldn't be here today," said Maimone.

The then 52-year-old exercised regularly, but while on a run, his heart stopped.

A passerby gave him CPR. That passerby administered something called hands-only CPR.

If you're in same situation, here's what you should do. 

- Call 911 so the paramedics can get on their way to you.
- Then put the heel of your hand in the center of the chest, put your other hand over it and start pumping hard and fast.
- The American Heart Association says, 'Remember the Bee Gees song Stayin’ Alive because it has about 100 beats per minute and that's the rhythm you want to keep."

While taking an official CPR class is the best route, Palm Beach County fire rescue staff captain Charles Coyle says hands-only helps.

Coyle said, "It does give us a little light in hoping that the patient was actually, there was blood circulating because that's really at the end of the day what CPR does."

Coyle said every minute CPR isn't given your chances of surviving drop ten percent.

Just ask Maimone how important it is.

"People don't understand how easy CPR is now. Its hands only, you can't do it wrong. The person is going to die if you don't do something," said Maimone.
 

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