The American Heart Association’s Central Massachusetts division has named Worcester State University the 2017 winner of the community-wide CPR Challenge. The second annual campaign challenged colleges and universities throughout Worcester to train as many people as possible in the life-saving skills of Hands-Only CPR. This year’s challenge was held throughout the 2016-2017 school year to help promote heart-health and focus on saving lives.
Under the direction of Susan Alix (Nursing), the Student Nurse Association student members took on the challenge to train as many WSU students, faculty, and staff as possible.
“Throughout the school year, Worcester State trained 414 students, faculty, and staff in Hands-Only CPR,” explained Blair Young, senior director of the American Heart Association. “It was great to see the SNA take the lead on this challenge and share with their fellow classmates the importance of knowing Hands-Only CPR.”
More than 326,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital each year, and about 90 percent of those victims die, often because bystanders don’t know how to start CPR or are afraid they’ll do something wrong. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.
Hands-Only CPR is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. It is recommended for use by people who see a teen or adult suddenly collapse in an “out-of-hospital” setting (such as at home, at work or in a park).
The CPR Community-Wide Challenge training at each school was conducted by student groups with equipment donated by the American Heart Association and the corporate sponsors of the challenge. This year, eight colleges and universities in Worcester participated, training a total of 2,000 students, faculty, staff, and community members throughout the school year. It is locally sponsored by UMass Memorial Medical Center and Medstar Ambulance.