Hands-only CPR: Are you prepared to save a life?

Have you heard of hands-only CPR? Did you know you can learn how to do it in one hour or less? Hands-only CPR classes, often offered at work, church or by community organizations, could prepare YOU to save a life.

Employee Anthony Hicks was in the right place at the right time to save a life with a little help from a hands-only CPR course offered at Blue Cross NC.

Anthony was out for a drive during a family visit in Portsmouth, VA when he noticed a vehicle on the side of the road. He cautiously walked around the car to assess the situation and the driver of the car. Anthony reached through the open window to check the man’s pulse – it was non-existent. He then asked his wife to call 911.

The 911 operator directed Anthony to check a few things and then asked if he knew CPR. He said yes, and the operator instructed him to begin chest compressions.

Anthony pulled the driver’s lifeless body from his vehicle and began chest compressions. Remembering what he’d learned in a class taught at Blue Cross NC, he used the tune of “Staying Alive” by the BeeGees to maintain proper cadence.

After several minutes of chest compressions, a police officer and EMT arrived. All the while, Anthony kept up the chest compressions. And even though he works out every day, Anthony said, “It was exhausting.”

A crowd had gathered around them, but only Anthony had taken the initiative to do something. At some point, Anthony remembers a bystander saying the man opened his eyes, then moved his leg, then color was returning to his face.

The paramedics took over and sent the young man to the hospital. Anthony said it was all very surreal experience, but he knew he had to do something because, “The energy you put out into the world is what you get back.”

“It makes you think how precious life is,” Anthony said thinking back to that day.

He later learned from the police that the man may have been experiencing a drug overdose. That reminded Anthony of the work Blue Cross NC is doing to address the opioid epidemic and gave him the sense that he was there for a reason and able to help the young man.

Blue Cross NC offers the Hands-Only CPR class to its employees six times a year. It’s one of the ways we care for our employees and help empower them to care for their families and community.