Last updated: Aug 20, 2009
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It's not everyday you're faced with life-saving decisions, but if you are do you know how to help a choking victim or someone having a cardiac arrest? Read on—it might just help you be a hero.


Choking Update
The Red Cross now suggests five sharp back slaps to the mid to upper back between the shoulder blades before you try the Heimlich Maneuver.

If the back blows dont work, move on to five Heimlich attempts, then alternate five of each move until emergency help arrives.

Save a heart with fast action
When someone is having a sudden cardiac arrest, survival odds go down 10% for every minute you do nothing.

Call 911, start CPR, and grab the nearest defibrillator (a portable device that jumpstarts the heart with a shock and gets it pumping regularly; your office and gym should have one).

Dont be afraid of the defib machine; it gives you instructions and it cant do any harm.