PAH Participates in CPR Hospital-initiatedTraining Project

Accordingto the American Heart Association, cardiac arrest is the abrupt loss of heartfunction caused by the heart's electrical system malfunctioning. Each yearabout 295,000 emergency medical services-treated out-of-hospital cardiacarrests occur in the United States. And as many know from the loss of lovedones, cardiac arrest is one of our nation’s leading killers.

Cardiopulmonaryresuscitation – or CPR – is an easy-to-learn technique that can double acardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival, but only if administeredimmediately and effectively. Sadly, less than one third of all aidout-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims received CPR from a bystander. Why?

Itseems several particular barriers prevent widespread CPR educationdissemination to the public: the need for trained CPR-certified instructors toconduct a course and the cost and length of a course itself. In addition, manyCPR training activities occur at the workplace or in a school among younger,healthier subjects. However, most sudden cardiac arrests occur in the home withspouses of similarly-aged family members.

Toliterally help improve the odds of survival for our patients once they leaveour Hospital, PAH is participating in the CPRHospital-Initiated Training Project along with seven other facilities inthe region, including HUP and PPMC. "The goal of the Project is to use thehospital as a unique ‘point of capture’ to empower at-risk families with thelife-saving tool of CPR,” said Audrey L.Blewer, MPH, project manager.

Throughthe Project, CPR training is offered on the cardiology and telemetry wards –including 6 Cathcart at PAH – where nurses and volunteers will in turn work withfamily members of patients with cardiovascular risk factors to learn thelife-saving skill of CPR. Families with at-risk members will be sent home withan American Heart Association “CPR Anytime Kit” – a 25-minute program completewith a personal inflatable manikin and instructional DVDs. “This Anytime Kitovercomes many of the barriers to traditional CPR courses, such as timing andexpense,” added Blewer, “and emphasizes hand-on-practice, allowing participantsto gain confidence and be willing to share what they’ve learned with others.”

TheProject is actually a study funded by the National Institutes of Health andlead by Principal Investigator, BenjaminAbella, MD, MPhil, of the Center for Resuscitation Science at HUP. Inaddition to teaching and empowering others within and outside of the hospitalenvironment to save lives with CPR, the study will also follow-up withparticipants to track instruction retention, all in an effort to better refine trainingmethods.

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