Connecticut Children’s Teaches Students Hands-Only CPR

In the United States, more than 350,000 people will suffer cardiac arrest at home, work or in public this year. Most will die because they don’t receive immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from someone on the scene. A leading cause of death, cardiac arrest is an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and disrupts the flow of blood to the brain, lungs and other organs.

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center’s Injury Prevention Center is working through its Youth Safety Leadership Program, supported by The Allstate Foundation, to train high school seniors at select local schools in the American Heart Association’s Hands-Only CPR. Hands-Only CPR is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. Hands-Only CPR can be used when a teen or adult suddenly collapses at home, at work, or in a public place like a park. The idea is that immediately starting CPR instead of waiting for emergency personnel to arrive will save lives, and that more people will do it if they don’t have to provide mouth-to-mouth breaths.

The American Heart Association states that Hands-Only CPR consists of two easy steps:
1) Call 9-1-1 (or send someone to do that).
2) Push hard and fast in the center of the chest.

To date, Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center has brought Hands-Only CPR training to these five Connecticut High Schools: Sports Medical Science Academy (Hartford), Pathways Academy of Technology and Design (East Hartford), Newington High School, Berlin High School, and Global Experience Magnet School (Bloomfield)). In all, we’ve trained almost 400 high school students.

Our Hands-Only CPR training is focused on teaching high school students how to react in an emergency situation when someone suddenly collapses. The students also learn how their actions can help others and what to expect when speaking to a 911 operator. Through programs like this, students can take leadership in their communities by teaching others and being there for family, friends, and neighbors in an emergency, to provide life-saving support until first responders arrive.

*Pictured above (L-R) Melissa Osborn, Instructor, Zada G.; Senior, Amneris Torres, LCSW, Program Assistant, Safe Kids CT, Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center

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