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Project SMILE-Saving More Illinois Lives through Education

The Illinois State Medical Society has partnered with the Chicago Medical Society, the American Heart Association and others on Project SMILE, an effort to disseminate information to the general public and health care providers about the importance of acquiring basic emergency resuscitation skills. The vision of Project SMILE is to educate adults to recognize and respond to life-threatening emergencies before the arrival of professional help.

Physician Education in Emergency Medical Response

The Illinois State Medical Society encourages all physicians to be trained in emergency medical response.

Training in emergency medical response is important for physicians and other health care workers, as it provides the basic tools for response in the event of an emergency such as a cardiac arrest, stroke or choking. Each year, more than 350,000 people die due to out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the United States. Early cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) provided by a bystander before professional help arrives helps to maintain vital blood flow to the heart and brain. For each minute that CPR is delayed, the victim's chance of survival is decreased by 10 percent.   

To locate training in Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and/or Pediatric Advanced Life Support  access the  American Heart Association's class connector.

Hands-only CPR

The Illinois State Medical Society also encourages public education on the benefits of hands-only CPR, which involves chest compressions and no mouth-to-mouth ventilation. Research has shown that chest compression alone works just as well in helping victims of cardiac arrest.

The use of hands-only CPR simplifies what a bystander needs to remember in order to perform CPR, and eliminates the hesitation that some bystander responders may have in performing mouth-to-mouth ventilation.

Hands-only CPR involves:

  1. Calling 911
  2. Chest compressions

The American Heart Association website on  Hands-Only CPR provides information and videos on how to save a life in the event of cardiac arrest.

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