Health Team

CPR class teaches fairgoers life-saving techniques

Posted October 19, 2015 5:00 p.m. EDT
Updated October 20, 2015 7:14 a.m. EDT

— The State Fair is a great place to enjoy food and fun, and it's also a place where fairgoers can learn how to save a life.

A CPR site at the N.C. State Fairgrounds can teach life-saving skills in about three minutes.

"This time last year, we had someone who had a cardiac arrest next to our booth," North Carolina Heart and Vascular cardiologist Dr. James Jollis said.

That person was saved by CPR, one of the things visitors to the fair can learn at the Rex Healthcare and N.C. Heart and Vascular information booth.

Fairgoers learn that chest compressions keep oxygenated blood flowing through the body and brain before emergency responders can get to a person who is unresponsive and not breating.

The State Fair training is free, but it's value can be priceless.

"Now I feel better prepared," fairgoer Bonnie Harrison said.

When someone's heart stops, having CPR performed can double or triple the odds of survival. Once someone is unconscious, every second counts because the brain is essentially starved for oxygen.

"Eight out of 10 people make it you're (doing CPR) within those first two minutes," Jollis said.

CPR training used to involve learning mouth-to-mouth resuscitation with alternating chest compressions, but the science has shifted.

"Now we've learned it's just press on the chest, fast and hard," Jollis said.

Even children can learn, which is what Angie Ellis' kids did.

"It was very cool, because I don't think they expected to learn," Ellis said. "I think they expected to ride rides and eat food all day."

The CPR Training booth is is located in spaces 37 and 38 in the corner of the Education Building near Gate 12 on the State Fairgrounds.