It takes about six minutes to go brain dead. It takes one hour to learn how to save a life.
At Miami Killian Senior High School, 30 students were trained in adult hands-only CPR on Wednesday morning. They sat on red yoga mats and received CPR take home training kits that came with a DVD and a Mini Anne – an inflatable dummy that is used for practice.
The American Heart Association has begun a pilot program that trains middle and high school students in CPR after a one-hour self-training course. The association is advocating Florida legislation that would require students to become trained in CPR before graduating high school.
John Mouw, the clinical learning specialty practice supervisor at Baptist Health of South Florida, is the training center coordinator for the American Heart Association and takes time to go to these sessions and teach students how to properly perform CPR on an adult who has gone into cardiac arrest.
When a person goes into cardiac arrest, the chance of survival drops 10 percent for every minute that goes by, he said.
“There is not enough bystander CPR to save lives,” he said
The self-training CPR course begins with a DVD, which is available in English, Spanish and Creole. The video goes through a step-by-step process of how to know when someone needs CPR and then how to administer it.
Students then placed their hands on the center of the dummy’s chest and began pushing for two minutes. If they were doing it right, the dummy would make a clicking sound.
“You don’t want anyone quitting on you so don’t you quit on them,” said Karen Harper, a teacher and department chair of electives at Killian to the students.
Bret Campbell, 16, said he didn’t know performing CPR would be so tiring.
“It is definitely a workout, but it is a great experience and it’s fun,” he said. “Now I can take my CPR kit home and teach my family and friends.”
As the students learned how to perform hands-only CPR correctly, the disco tune Stayin’ Alive played in the background. The beat of the song is the pace that chest compressions need to be done.
Ashlie Jaramillo, 18, said the skills were important because she has younger siblings.
“I think that it is really important to learn CPR because it has to do with saving lives,” she said.
Learning CPR is part of the curriculum at many Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Louis Lazo, the health curriculum support specialist for the school system and training center coordinator for the American Heart Association, said that every year a three-day workshop is held to train school faculty in CPR.
“With this pilot program, we can reach out to more people,” he said. “It is easy, short in duration and students can then go back to their homes and teach their loved ones.
Lazo said this program helps eliminate the fear factor when performing CPR because students learn how simple the procedure is.
At the end of the training, each student received a red sticker saying “I’m CPR trained” and a gold plastic beaded necklace from the American Heart Association.
“What is the worst thing you could do for a person in cardiac arrest?” Mouw asked the students.
His answer: “Nothing.”