FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Each year, June 1-7 is National CPR and AED Awareness Week, which is meant to raise awareness about the importance of knowing how to perform CPR.

Owner and President of Summit CPR & Safety Inc. Alison Russell tells WANE 15 that CPR instructors generally find people to be anxious and worried about properly performing CPR if needed.

Russell said it’s extremely important to know what you’re doing because 70% of cardiac emergencies happen away from hospitals.

“With CPR and AED usage, a lot of people are just afraid of CPR in general. They have anxiety about it. They think AEDs are scary,” Russel said. “And so, this week we are trying to get the word out like ‘hey, this is not scary.’ We want you to know what to do in an emergency. We don’t want you to be afraid of it.”

She said it’s even more important to know what to do if someone collapses during the summer months when people spend a lot more time around pools and lakes.

CPR and AED usage is different whether it’s being performed on an adult, child. or infant.

Summit CPR & Safety owner Alison Russell provides a CPR demonstration for WANE 15 in Fort Wayne on Thursday, 6/2/22.

According to Russell, an infant is considered one-year-old or younger.

Russell said chest compressions should always be hard and fast, even on an infant.

“CPR is not gentle, a lot of people think ‘Oh, it’s a child. I need to be gentle,’ you are still pumping the heart for that child,” Russell said.

It’s also extremely important to have an AED, or automated external defibrillator, on hand – especially if you have a pool. She said there are certain businesses that are required to have them by law.

They are safe to use across the board on adults, children, infants and even pregnant women, Russell said.

“It is so important to have an AED nearby and close,” she said.

Here are the basic steps Russell suggests if someone collapses and needs CPR:

  • Call 911
  • Get an AED, or send someone to get an AED
  • Start chest compressions immediately (you want to start these within 10 seconds of someone collapsing)
  • Give 30 compressions at a time
  • Provide two rescue breaths (not recommended for someone who hasn’t been received CPR training)
  • Continue chest compressions

Russell notes that CPR is necessary any time someone collapses and isn’t breathing completely normal. Any struggle to breathe in a regular fashion is considered not breathing.

She said every second you wait around for emergency responders to arrive are precious moments the victim isn’t getting oxygen.

Russel provided tutorials for WANE 15 to show how to properly perform CPR, which can be viewed below.