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NewsChannel 12 anchor Valentina Wilson learns CPR

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NEW BERN, Craven County - February is American Heart Month, a great time to get to know your heart and the warning signs of a heart attack. NewsChannel 12's Valentina Wilson attended a free, hands-only CPR course at CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern. Students learned how to give chest compressions in two-minute intervals to keep a person alive until medical help arrives. "I didn't know it was this hard," Wilson said. "It really seems a lot longer than two minutes." Sandy Williams attended the course with her husband, Newsom. "I think it's important for everybody in the community to be prepared to be able to help," Sandy Williams said. The couple said the training was a lot more difficult than they thought it would be, requiring more physical effort than they expected. "This is gonna require some practice," Newsom Williams said. "It's not just 30 minutes... We're gonna go home and watch the video and practice some more, and then I hope we'll have a chance to work with our local neighborhood association and teach a larger group." Course instructor Judy Pierce said the symptoms of a heart attack may be different in women than in men. "Know your body. Talk to your doctor," Pierce said. "A woman may have that fullness, that full feeling. They may still have some of the typical symptoms of pressure in the chest. There may be some jaw pain. There may be back pain. There's a variety of symptoms that may present, and they may be in combination." CarolinaEast hosts the training sessions in conjunction with the American Heart Association. The hospital also offers an initial CPR class once or twice a month, a re-certification class every month, and family and friends courses for church and civic groups. For more information, please call (252) 633-8160.

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