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North Dakota Teens Challenged to “Be the Beat”

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 By Dick Layman, Public News Service - ND, Contact
December 15, 2009

FARGO, N.D. - The American Heart Association believes that everyone should know CPR, so to make sure the youngest North Dakotans can perform the life-saving technique, the AHA is launching the "Be the Beat" challenge. It is going out to all school basketball teams in the state, where every school has an automated heart defibrillator (AED) device just in case someone on school grounds goes into cardiac arrest.

Fargo cardiologist Thomas Haldis says it's a fun way for teenagers to learn the basics of cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

"What this involves is training teenagers and the tweens to learn how to give compressions if they see somebody go down and note that the person doesn't have a pulse."

He says age shouldn't be a factor in determining who can learn the signs of a heart attack, the importance of calling 911, and how to perform CPR.

"Most of the people in schools are kids, so if they know how to do it, then they can take the ball and take care of these people, if it does happen to occur at a basketball game or some sporting event. The more people who know what they are doing the better."

Haldis says teams who want to participate in the North Dakota Challenge can log on to
www.heart.org

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