DETROIT (WWJ) – Nearly 300,000 people die each year because they suffer cardiac arrest outside of a hospital — but knowing CPR could change those numbers.

A majority of people say they feel helpless to act if someone stops breathing because they don’t know how to administer CPR or it’s been too long since they learned.

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Talking to WWJ Health Reporter Dr. Deanna Lites, Beaumont Hospital cardiologist Dr. Steven Almany said the American Heart Association recommends “hands only CPR” — which mean, no matter what you’ve seen on TV, no blowing in the person’s mouth.

It can work, he says.

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“If you can just get there and do chest compressions, you probably change the mortality from, you know, somewhere close to 90 percent, if we don’t do anything, to 60 or 70 percent — so you probably save about 30 percent of the people,” Almany said.

After calling 911, start chest compressions, which should be done hard and fast in the center of the chest.

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[For CPR Awareness Week, the American Heart Association released a new training video (above), and is offering more information about hands only CPR, HERE].