According to the American Heart Association’s website, CPR and defibrillation within the first 3 to 5 minutes after someone collapses can result in high (greater than 50 percent) long-term survival rates for a heart attack patient.
This was evident on Jan. 25, when 17-year-old Newton High School student James Norrington collapsed due to complications with, then undiagnosed, Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome. School nurse Linda Pitts initiated and instructed others to help her conduct CPR — cardio pulmonary resuscitation.
In February, Newton Medical EMS Captain Charles Scott Queen credited NHS’s purchase of two Lucas Devices, a chest compression system that allows for a continued stream of CPR, as well as the quick action of the school staff and rapid response of EMS personnel as the reason Norrington survived.Knowing the value of CPR education, employees and volunteers of Newton Medical Center have organized a CPR training event in collaboration with instructors of DeKalb Technical College’s Fire and EMS Academy and health and professional services department. The event, CPR Saturday, consists of several one-hour courses and will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 19 at DeKalb Tech’s Covington campus.
"We’re so excited," said Becky Hill, director of the American Heart Association’s Community Training Center located at DTC. "We can train up to 50 people an hour with the amount of mannequins and instructors we have, so we’re hoping to have 500 people on that Saturday."
Newton Medical Center Director of Education Becky Beavers said the event is part of the hospital Auxiliary’s second major initiative involving community CPR training.
"A little over a year ago, on a Thursday of a particular week, I was approached by Tammy Hotz, who is our clinical manager of the birth care center," Beavers said, "and we had a conversation about making sure all NICU [neonatal intensive care unit] graduates’ families got CPR training."
The following Friday she had lunch with Hill and they discussed resurrecting CPR Saturday, which Beavers said had not been done since the late 90’s. Then on Monday, NMC Director of Volunteer Services Martha Taylor came into her office and showed her a CPR Anytime kit that she had seen demonstrated at a recent conference.
"Three work days in a row and I get it," Beavers said.
The kits, now available at cost ($39.95 plus tax) in NMC’s gift shop, come in adult and infant variaties and include a practice dummy, 20-minute instructional DVD and procedural charts designed to be posted on a wall. The adult kits are approved by the American Heart Association and the infant kits are approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Beavers and Taylor kicked off a fundraiser for the infant kits the week after Christmas at a table outside the hospital’s cafeteria. NMC staff members donated enough to provide kits to every family of a NICU graduate for an entire year.
"They blew us away," Beavers said. "We were so thrilled."
Because of the success of that fundraiser Beavers, with the help of the Auxiliary, set out to organize a local CPR training day.
"Our mission is to spread CPR knowledge in the community," said Beavers.
Interested individuals may register for a one-hour training course (not a certification course) by calling Becky Hill at (404) 297-9522 ext. 5319 or e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hill advises participants to wear comfortable clothing. CPR Anytime kits will be available for purchase at the event.