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AHA: Learn CPR At Home

The American Heart Association is asking consumers to invest $30 and 22 minutes of their time to learn CPR at home.

The Heart Association Wednesday unveiled Infant CPR Anytime. The program teaches viewers how to do chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on babies up to the age of 12 months. This is the second of the Heart Association's programs directed primarily toward those without medical training.

The American Heart Association's "Infant CPR Anytime" DVD shows an actor kneeling next to an 18-inch long, inflatable doll. She tells the viewer to gently tap the baby's foot and should something like, "Are you OK?" The actor goes on to say, "If she doesn't wake up, she's not just sleeping and we better get some help."

Captial University Nursing Professor Jill Steuer is on the National Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee. She says they know from research that the best way to save an infant or an adult is through CPR.

"[Despite]all the science, chemicals and electricity," she says, "it all comes back to the fact that doing CPR correctly is what saves lives."

Steuer says training at home can involve all members of the family - everyone who comes in contact with a baby. "The majority of infants who have cardiac or respiratory arrest do so in the presence of their parents or at home," says Steuer. The kit comes with the inflatable doll which has a back-up set of lungs, the DVD and brightly colored, printed material that shows highlights of the CPR process. The kit is probably a nice gift for new parents, but how effective is the training offered by the DVD and the doll?

"Even though it's a 22 minute video," says Steuer,"my hope would be that people review it fairly often. We know people lose some of their skills over time if they're not practiced, but something is better than nothing."