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American Heart Association Greater Philadelphia and Independence Blue Cross launch Hands-Only CPR training kiosk at Wells Fargo Center to teach life-saving skills

Independence Blue Cross (IBX) EVP of Facilitated Health Networks Rich Snyder, pictured with Comcast Spectator Chairman and CEO Dan Hilferty; IBX Corporate Relations Executive Kathy Albanese; IBX SVP of Corporate Communications Donna Farrell; IBX Director of CEO Initiatives Kernika Gupta and others at the Hands-Only CPR Kisok ribbon cutting at the Wells Fargo Center.

Every year, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of a hospital with more than 70% happening in settings such as sporting facilities, airports, grocery stores and tourist attractions. When a person has a cardiac arrest, survival depends on immediately receiving CPR from someone nearby.

The American Heart Association (the Association), a global force for longer, healthier lives, and Independence Blue Cross gathered at the Wells Fargo Center, home of the Philadelphia Flyers, 76ers and Wings, and unveiled an interactive kiosk designed to teach Hands-Only CPR to Greater Philadelphia residents and visitors. The ribbon cutting ceremony was also attended by mascots and players from the 76ers, Flyers and Wings.

This is the fourth Hands-Only CPR kiosk in the Greater Philadelphia area. Another kiosk is currently housed at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and is sponsored by Jefferson Health. Other past locations included the Perelman Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Independence Visitors Center.

Studies show that Hands-Only CPR is equally as effective as conventional CPR, and people are more likely to feel comfortable performing it. The Hands-Only CPR education available at the kiosk helps users understand how they can immediately help a person who experiences a cardiac emergency outside of a hospital.

“While traditional, in-person training remains the optimal method for acquiring the essential skills for successful CPR performance, this kiosk offers supplementary training that has proven crucial in making a life-saving difference for someone you love,” said Jeffrey Salvatore, vice president of community impact at the American Heart Association in Greater Philadelphia.

Sponsored by Independence Blue Cross, over the next three years the kiosk will be placed in nine different high-volume locations around Greater Philadelphia, moving locations up to three times within each year. The first location will be at the Wells Fargo Center where it will be accessible to thousands of visitors for sporting events, and entertainment concerts.

“About 90 percent of cardiac arrest victims die, often because bystanders don’t know how to start CPR or are afraid they’ll do something wrong,” said Jennifer Litchman-Green, executive director of the American Heart Association in Greater Philadelphia. “Bystander CPR, especially if administered immediately, can triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival, which is why the Hands-Only CPR education available at the kiosk is so valuable. In just a matter of a few minutes, people will learn a skill that has the potential to save lives.”

“We’re very excited to be part of the American Heart Association’s CPR kiosk expansion —this fits perfectly with our commitment to community health and safety. By providing a platform for hands-only CPR training, we aim to empower individuals and cultivate a nation of life savers. Together, we can make a meaningful impact on the well-being of our community, one trained person at a time,” said Richard L. Snyder, M.D. executive vice president, facilitated health networks at Independence Blue Cross.

The two simple steps of Hands-Only CPR are: if a bystander sees a teen or adult collapse, he or she should first call 9-1-1. Then push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive,” which has 100 beats per minute (bpm). The Bee Gees’ song has the minimum rate you should push on the chest during Hands-Only CPR.

“The kiosk will help the public understand how simple it is to perform the two steps of Hands-Only CPR, which will hopefully help reduce some of the trepidation that people have about performing bystander CPR,” added Salvatore. “After completing the kiosk training, we hope people will feel empowered knowing they are taking the first steps in learning a critical skill.”

To learn more about the Hands-Only CPR campaign and learn how to save a life, visit www.heart.org/handsonlycpr.