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New CPR Guidelines, A Survivor's Story

December 13, 1979 is the day when Darven Miller says CPR saved his life.

"I'm very fortunate."

Miller was walking across Duncan Creek in Chippewa Falls with some friends that day.

"We always used to take shortcuts through there."

Just three days before, they made it across. No problem.

This day was warmer, and Darven fell through the ice. He would stay in the bitterly cold water below for 55 minutes. His friends frantically searched for help.

"They went door to door till they found a house that called 911 and got the paramedics."

Back then, CPR was administered a little differently.

"It's an art and a science," said Paramedic Instructor Jeff Asher.

Experts say today's guidelines could provide two to three times more success than the preferred method last year.

"I think we're always going to be fine-tuning things based on research," Asher said.

Instructors say the higher number of compressions will help these students get blood and oxygen flowing through a victim faster, something some of their predecessors from 1979 weren't sure they had done well enough.

"When they did all the procedures, they said I was clinically dead," Miller said.

But before they could share the bad news, a nurse looked back and realized Darven was most certainly alive.

Today, he even admits to walking across frozen bodies of water, other than Duncan Creek.

"I have no fear of water...never have."

It's part of what he calls a good life. He's living it today because of CPR almost 26-years ago.


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