Specialty education in Colorado Springs Saving American Hearts, Inc Education events in Colorado official Colorado vacation information

Posted by By Richard Froese Southpeachnews March 15, 2024 on Mar 17th 2024

Students learn ABCs of CPR

Students at six Peace River School Division schools had the opportunity in February to get trained in bystander CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and use of an AED (automated external defibrillator).

Training for students from Grades 4-12 is part of a national pilot project to study the possibility of offering CPR and AED training in all schools, says a PRSD news release dated Feb. 26.

PRSD was among five communities selected in Alberta for the study.

Training was provided to students at Peace River schools Ecole Springfield, T.A. Norris Middle School and Peace River High School, along with Red Earth Creek School, Hines Creek Composite and Worsley Central School.

Kim Ruether and Ian Blanchard, associates from the department of community health sciences at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary are conducting the study in Alberta.

The pilot project is also being done in British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia.

“This study is the first of its kind to address the quality of CPR training in schools across Canada,” says Ruether, who works in diagnostic imaging at the Fairview Health Complex.

“This is a unique opportunity to be one of the pioneers in advocating for the safety and health our our communities an empowering Canadian students.”

Participants were told it’s never to early to start to learn CPR and the use of an AED.

“Don’t let anyone tell you that you are too young,” Ruether told Worsley students Feb. 20.

“Today, you did as good, if not better, in CPR quality and as the EMS and hospital staff I train.”

After completing the training, Worsley School was provided with a certificate with the designation of being a “Heart-Safe School” from the Project Brock Society.

Ruether is the president of the society that was started in memory of her own son, Brock, who passed away in 2012 as a result of sudden cardiac arrest during a high school team volleyball practice. Before the incident, Brock was a healthy and energetic athlete.

“There is no more devastating news than sudden cardiac arrest occurring in the community for both families and their surrounding neighbourhood,” Ruether says.

“Very few people survive a sudden cardiac arrest that occurs outside a hospital and those who do, usually are left with severe brainy injury.

“Previous students have shown that the most important and effective treatment is bystander CPR and AED use.”

Quick response to a cardiac arrest is vital.

“If a shock is administered on a young healthy heart in under one minute from the time of a sudden cardiac arrest, the survival rate is 100 per cent, under two minutes, 92 per cent,” Ruether says.

“After six minutes, the survival rate drops to 25 per cent and after 10 minutes, it’s zero per cent.

“But excellent CPR can extend the timeline by two hours.”

The pilot study required students to complete a pre- and post-training questionnaire about their confidence after training.