Atlanta airport installs CPR training kiosk

An unusual new kiosk at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport offers two-minute  training on CPR, aimed at helping increase the chance of survival for people who suffer cardiac arrest.

The interactive kiosk, which sits against a wall on Concourse A between gates A11 and A15, shows a how-to video on "hands-only CPR." It includes a mannequin torso for practice compressions to the beat of the Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive. The kiosk gives feedback about proper hand placement and the rate and depth of compressions.

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia president Jeff Fusile said about 3 million people in the United States have been trained in hands-only CPR -- or about 1 out of 100 people. Nearly 400,000 people suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year in the United States, according to the American Heart Association.

"The survival rate for those who don't get CPR is very, very low," said Herman Taylor, a board member with the American Heart Association's Greater Southeast affiliate. "After cardiac arrest, every second counts."

After calling 911, some people may hesitate to use full CPR with mouth-to-mouth breaths on strangers in the heat of the moment. They may stand to the side because they're intimidated, or are afraid they'll do it wrong, Taylor said. But hands-only CPR is easy to learn and easy to use, he said.

"It's important to get past that barrier," to bridge the gap between the moment when someone collapses and when medical help arrives, Taylor said. "Those early moments, we've got to have someone step up and step in, and this tool can help us do that."

Installed this week, the kiosk is funded by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation and Amerigroup Foundation and is expected to be at the airport for two years. Delta Air Lines is contributing the space in its gate area for the kiosk, which is operated by the American Heart Association.

Hartsfield-Jackson is one of several airports getting a hands-only CPR kiosk, along with Baltimore-Washington International, Chicago O'Hare, Indianapolis and Las Vegas McCarran.

The Atlanta airport also has more than 400 automated external defibrillator machines stationed throughout the terminal and concourses, in vehicles and in other buildings.

"Within 100 feet of any locations you are at the airport, you're going to find an AED," said Atlanta Fire Rescue's assistant chief of airport operations Antonio Webb.