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Donda West 911 Tapes Released

Author Donda West, right, and her son, hip-hop performer Kanye West, attend a book signing for her book, "Raising Kanye: Life Lessons from the Mother of a Hip-Hop Superstar," on May 9, 2007, at Borders in Los Angeles.
GETTY IMAGES/Vince Bucci
Two women tried to revive Kanye West's mother after she had a heart attack and stopped breathing, according to emergency 911 recordings released Monday.

An unidentified woman tells a male emergency dispatcher during the call that Donda West recently had surgery. She says West just had a heart attack, has stopped breathing and moving, and is "cold and clammy," according to the call released by the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The woman says she and another unidentified woman are trying to administer CPR.

"Are you doing it?" the dispatcher asks. "... Does anybody know how? That's what I already asked you."

As the two women talk, the dispatcher appears to grow frustrated.

"Ma'am, let me tell you how to do this. You need to listen. You're not listening to what I'm telling you. You're not helping the person at all. ... Have the other people be quiet so I can tell you what to do."

The dispatcher then instructs the woman in CPR, telling her to clear West's mouth and administer breaths. The women attempt to resuscitate West, but she doesn't respond. Soon after, paramedics arrive, and the dispatcher hangs up.

West, 58, was rushed to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead Nov. 10, the day after she underwent breast reduction, tummy tuck and liposuction procedures.

She was the former chairwoman of Chicago State University's English department but left the school in 2004 and moved to Los Angeles to manage her son's career.

On The Early Show, Dr. Gabriel Wilson, Emergency Room Director of St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital in New York, told co-anchor Julie Chen, ""It's very easy to panic when there's an emergency like this going on. But you just have to know that the best chance of reviving someone is by staying calm. So, if you need to take three or four seconds, take a deep breath and sort of compose yourself, that's what you need to do. In addition, if you've taken a CPR course, you're gonna be much more used to doing the motions of CPR, and it will generate less panic. You'll be much more relaxed."

Wilson said the best way to follow a dispatcher's instructions in a case like that is to have "quiet in the room. You need to be able to hear the instructions, and one-by-one, the 911 operator will instruct you, motion-by-motion, on what to do. If you can repeat back the instructions, that's great."

What if you're alone? Do you call 911 first, or start CPR?

"For an adult who's unconscious," Wilson replied, "you're going to call 911 first. For a child, you're going to do a couple rounds of CPR prior to calling 911, so it's different."

He then offered viewers a quick lesson in CPR.

He added that trying to administer CPR on Donda West on a bed was hardly ideal: "You can't do effective chest compressions to move blood unless the body's against a firm surface. So, a thick mattress is not adequate. They should have safely gotten her to the floor, certainly."