CPR in Schools Could Help You in ‘Stayin’ Alive’

Performing chest compressions to the cadence of the “Bee Gees” hit song “Stayin’ Alive,” students from Mae L. Feaster Charter School were enjoying learning hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) recently. CPR doubles or triples survival rates for cardiac arrest victims, provided it is administered immediately. And that’s the point of CPR in Schools training, officials said.

The fifth grade students at Feaster, in the Chula Vista Elementary School District, were learning how to save a life. Staff from the American Heart Association, CVESD personnel, and physical education resource teacher Robin Carby were in attendance to train the students.

“Every year there are almost 326,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the United States, and of this figure an estimated 6,300 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen to children. Sadly, only 10% of victims who suffer a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting survive, largely in part because many victims do not receive timely CPR or automated external defibrillator (AED) application,” said Jennifer Sobotka, Executive Director of the San Diego Division of the American Heart Association.

“While these statistics are bleak, there is hope for cardiac arrest victims,” Sobotka said. “There is a great opportunity for students to be trained in CPR as successful bystanders. The Chula Vista Elementary School District has recently embarked on a program to ensure that all students participating in the District’s Exercise the Dream Program at the Olympic Training Center receive hands-only CPR Training.”

Carby, a District employee who is based out of the Olympic Training Center, noted that CPR in Schools has been well received by students.

“Students learn that any CPR is better than no CPR,” Carby said, adding that “the number one reason people do not step in to help is the fear of doing it wrong.”

After the training, students have the skills, and most importantly, the confidence, to administer effective hands-only CPR, she said.

The District launched the program in February, as part of American Heart Month. The District uses materials, teaching aids, and resources promoted by the American Heart Association to conduct the program.

“Incorporating CPR in the classroom could save thousands of lives by filling our communities with young adults trained to give cardiac arrest victims the immediate help they need to survive until emergency medical personnel arrive,” Sobotka said. “The lives saved by students trained in CPR could include someone we love – or even our own.”


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