A first-in-Iowa high-tech kiosk is opening at a shopping mall in central Iowa today with the goal of teaching people a few simple steps that could help to restart a heart.
Doug Fiore, president of Mercy College of Health Sciences, says the kiosk is emblazoned with the words, “Learn to save a life,” and it teaches the basics of doing hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation — or CPR — in about five minutes. “There’s a screen in front of you that gives you a lesson and right down in front of you, where your hands would rest, it’s a sort of soft pillowy matter,” Fiore says. “It’s designed to simulate chest compressions.”
People who use the kiosk won’t be CPR certified, but they will learn the essentials in what could make them a hero in a life-or-death situation. “In a very, very short period of time, in just a minute, a person can see how to give hands-only CPR and then try it out on the kiosk,” Fiore says, “and it gives feedback on how you’re doing.”
Every year nationwide, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests happen outside of hospitals, while more than 20-percent occur in public places like airports, casinos and sporting facilities. This device is located in a high-traffic area at Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines.
“It’s right near the childs’ play area at the mall so there are a lot of people who spend some time sitting in that area,” Fiore says. “This way there’s an activity you can engage in while you’re there that actually will save lives.” Studies show hands-only CPR is equally as effective as conventional mouth-to-mouth CPR and people are more likely to feel comfortable performing it.
Fiore says the Des Moines-based private college is investing “a few hundred thousand dollars” in the kiosk over the next three years in partnership with the American Heart Association.