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McKay-Dee, Ogden FD stress importance of public CPR proficiency

By Jamie Lampros - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Feb 11, 2024
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Adult and pediatric CPR classes are available to the public at Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden.
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Adult and pediatric CPR classes are available to the public at Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden.
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Adult and pediatric CPR classes are available to the public at Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden.
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Adult and pediatric CPR classes are available to the public at Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden.

OGDEN — Every year, 436,000 Americans die from cardiac arrest. More than 350,000 occur outside of the hospital, with 85% of those occurring at home.

That’s why it’s so important to learn how to perform CPR, say experts at Intermountain Health and the Ogden Fire Department. CPR can double or even triple a person’s chance of survival after cardiac arrest. CPR can help restore breathing and blood flow, aiding in the person’s recovery with fewer side effects.

Even for those who have learned how to perform CPR, approximately 70% have forgotten how to use it, or they’re afraid of hurting the patient. But knowing CPR and basic first aid are invaluable skills to know and perform on someone until emergency medical services arrive.

“Bystander CPR has proven to improve survival,” said Kara Hansen, community health educator for Intermountain Health. “That is why Intermountain Health offers CPR training courses and encourages people to become CPR certified.

Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital is offering two classes to teach CPR or help refresh your memory.

The HeartSaver CPR class is geared toward people who want to learn the life-saving skill for their own personal knowledge or for those who need certification. Three different types of the HeartSaver classes are offered and include CPR and automated external defibrillator, or AED, training; first aid, CPR and AED training; and HeartSaver pediatric first aid, CPR and AED training.

An additional type of CPR class, called Basic Life Support, also is offered to those who work in the health care field.

Kathleen Burtenshaw, 73, of Farmington, said she took the class because she wanted to update her skills.

“Decades earlier, I had brief first aid classes as a girls camp leader but never felt confident in case of an emergency,” she said. “In 2007, my husband had open heart surgery and the discharge nurse emphasized I should learn CPR.”

Burtenshaw later attended the class and purchased an AED.

“The class refreshed my memory of first aid and CPR. It’s a lot to think about when you’re not a professional, and taking the written test afterwards proved there’s much to review and relearn often,” she said. “I was so happy to have the baby and adult props to realize how much more pressure I needed to apply.”

In addition to the courses, the Ogden Fire Department has adopted a program called PulsePoint, which notifies members of the public who download the app on their phones of a cardiac arrest occurring within a quarter-mile of their location.

“PulsePoint notifies CPR-trained individuals who have the app where a cardiac arrest is happening and where they can find the nearest AED,” said Ogden Deputy Fire Chief Mike Slater. “This buys the person time until EMS crews can get there.”

Once the app is downloaded, it will notify users of a cardiac event happening in their vicinity. If the emergency is happening in a public place, a CPR- and AED-trained member of the public can get there and start performing CPR while waiting for additional help to arrive. A certified health care giver can go to a public place or a private residential home and start performing the procedure, Slater said.

“This is just another way to expand awareness in the community when someone needs this life-saving procedure,” Slater said.

Slater said the fire department wanted to jump on board after attending a rescue academy in Washington state. He said he learned it was a great way to revamp how CPR is done in the community.

“Right now, we have it enabled in Weber and Morgan County,” he said. “Utah County also has it and Davis County should have it soon. It’s a great tool for all of us. For every minute CPR is not being done, the survival rate drops 10%, so it really does take a community to save a person. And because of this technology, we can leverage the community and turn them into first responders when time really counts.”

Several classes are being offered at Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital. For a schedule, go to http://tinyurl.com/3cwj6wcj, http://tinyurl.com/2preyavr or http://tinyurl.com/49f8d247.

“Even if you have been CPR trained before, guidelines and directions can shift based on the release of new data, science and technology,” Hansen said. “Staying current on the latest guidelines can help save a life. Intermountain Health encourages everyone to learn CPR and become prepared to act in an emergency.”

For more information on PulsePoint, go to pulsepoint.org.


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