The phrase “Safe Schools” has many implications. In addition to having locked doors, video cameras, safety apps, an updated crisis response plan, and our new school liaison resource officer, Columbia School District has taken further steps towards a safer school district. Earlier this year, I collaborated with our some of the Columbia Central Jr – Sr High School teachers to provide Hands-Only CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) training to our seventh, eighth, ninth and twelfth grade students.
Why teach Hands-Only CPR to our teens? Although rare, each year sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) affects children and teens. More than 300,000 people in the United States die of SCA and it remains the leading cause of death in America.
CPR was developed in 1960, when three researchers from Johns Hopkins University Hospital tried combining chest compressions with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Since then, CPR has saved many lives each year. Although millions of people around the world know CPR, most of our teens had not learned how to do hands-only CPR. Hands-only CPR allows people to do chest compressions to circulate oxygenated blood through a victim’s body while a rescuer is waiting for EMS to arrive. Without CPR a victim of SCA has little or no chance of survival.
In addition to learning how to do hands-only CPR, our students became acquainted with an AED (Automated Electronic Defibrillator). Columbia Central High School has three AED’s and the students learned where to find them and how they operate. They also learned where the AED’s in the other buildings are kept.
During the informational hands-only CPR session, the Columbia Central High School students learned about the cardiac chain of survival: Early recognition and calling 911, early CPR at a rate of 100 to 120 chest compressions per minute, early defibrillation, advanced emergency care, and advanced cardiac care.
Are you interested in learning CPR? The Columbia Township Fire Department does a great job of teaching CPR. Many Columbia School District faculty and staff members have participated in the CPR training from the fire department. The American Red Cross also offers classes in CPR and first aid. The Columbia Community Fitness Center will host CPR classes in the next few months. Until you have an opportunity to take CPR, there are apps available from the App Store: “my CPR trainer” app is free and has a learn and practice button, and the American Red Cross has a free app with first aid and a small section on hands-only CPR. In addition, the American Heart Association has a nice video available free on the internet that illustrates hands-only CPR. Just like our students, it is important to learn CPR; the life you save may be someone you love! If you are interested in learning more about the programs and courses at Columbia School District, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 517-592-6641.