2017 was a big year for Start the Heart Foundation. We had a total of 24 college students serve as our CPR instructors this last year. These instructors came from 7 different colleges throughout the country. We continue to have fabulous instructors with our organization. One of our firsts this year, Obeida an Arabic speaking instructor with us taught hands only CPR in Arabic to his mosque here in Louisville. We continue to teach all freshmen in the high schools of Jefferson County as well as surrounding counties around Louisville. This year is our 4th year of teaching meaning we are having entire high schools where we have taught the students hands only CPR.
In the summer session, we have focused on teaching hands only CPR in local businesses and higher risk areas of cardiac arrest in Louisville. We found a great new place to teach was at farmers markets on Saturday mornings. The crowds were receptive and we usually picked up some good locally grown food to eat.
We taught over 9800 people hands only CPR in 2017. This is the largest number of people that we have taught in a single year since our inception in 2014. We are hoping that the trend continues in 2018. However, the best number to talk about is that we now have 10 confirmed cardiac arrest victim saves. In the last 6 months we have had to terrific saves related to our teaching. I am hoping to post about these two stories soon. We know that historically, 30 people that we have taught hands only CPR have attempted to save a cardiac arrest victim.
It has been a tremendously successful year for us at STHF. We hope to continue with more of the same in 2018.
Over our three year history we have had several bilingual hands only CPR instructors. Non-English speaking populations in the United States are usually at higher risk for cardiac arrest as they tend to be medically underserved populations. Often our instructors feel compelled to teach hands only CPR to their friends and family.
This fall we have been fortunate to have Obieda as a CPR instructor for our organization. He is originally from Jordan and speaks Arabic. He plans to go to medical school in the future. He is an outstanding human being and incredible CPR instructor. He has helped to teach over 2500 people hands only CPR over the last 3 months. He has taken it upon himself to teach them members of his mosque. He has taught several hands only CPR classes in Arabic in the last few weeks. Thank you Obieda for making a difference in our community.
Start the Heart Summer Intern
Before I began my summer internship with Start the Heart Foundation I had no idea how much this organization would impact my beliefs on health care nor would I have guessed how much knowledge I would acquire. I applied for the summer intern position because I am pursuing a medical profession, and I wanted to learn more about cardiac arrests and the survival rates in our communities. Today, I know that approximately between 1,000-1,200 cardiac arrests happen every year in Indianapolis. Although this is an alarming statistic, it did not surprise me as much as finding out that only 1 in 3 people having a cardiac arrest will receive bystander CPR. When we share this information with the public they always, without fail, give us a blank stare with wide eyes and sometimes I see a few jaws drop. When I found out that in other cities, bystanders are more willing to intervene, 3 out of 4 people to be exact, my heart broke. At this exact moment something clicked, I understood exactly why this organization and its mission is so important. At that moment I knew my work would affect the lives of many; the young and the old, the rich and the poor, the students and employers. Cardiac arrest does not discriminate, and correspondingly everyone in our community should be educated on what to during an emergency situation.
Over the last two weeks, I have become very passionate about our work. We have traveled to various organizations within the Indianapolis community to educate the public about hands-only CPR. Through conversations with students, questions at the end of each session, or online feedback I have realized how much people value our time and overall message. They are engaged during our presentation and provide insightful reviews. To see the community committed to being part of a positive change, only motivates me as an instructor to seek more opportunities to educate the public.
I believe this passion I hold dear was illuminated on our very first day of training. When we initially met Dr. Dillon his dedication to the organization was made abundantly clear; his own passion radiates through his work and was projected to all of the summer interns, including myself. It is truly bothersome to know that due to a lack of education in the public sector, in regards on what to do during a cardiac arrest, fatalities are outrageously high every year. Our mission is to improve survival after cardiac arrest. The best way to do that is to educate our friends, neighbors, and community members on what to do during an emergency situation. My personal goal is to emphasize to those we teach how important it is to spread the world so that we can continue saving lives.
We essentially have 2 hands only CPR training seasons at Start the Heart. We have our academic training period during the high school year where we teach hands only CPR to area high school students. This will eventually lead to a blanket of hands only CPR trained persons in our community. Our second season is our summer training season. In the summer we go full time and teach anywhere, any place and anytime. We focus on trying to get into the higher risk areas of Louisville for cardiac arrest.
We have been to community centers, farmers markets, cyclocross races, area businesses both big and small, churches and yoga studios.
Why do we do this? Last year Louisville had a bystander CPR rate of only 15 %. The national average is 30 % and some cities have rates of 75%. The number one reason that people do not perform bystander CPR is a lack of education and fear. The goal of our class is to educate and reduce the fear. If the general public does not act during a cardiac arrest then it is unlikely that the victim will survive the event. We have to do better and we will do better.
If you want to schedule a class with us just drop an email to us through the website.
Our foundation has been teaching hands only CPR for a little under 3 years time. In that time period we have taught over 25,000 people hands only CPR and how to use an AED. We have had over 50 instructors come through our program. The vast majority of our instructors are college students who we have taught to become CPR instructors. Each of our instructors individually have taught thousands of people CPR and are high volume instructors.
Last month in the journal Resuscitation, a study was published that looked at CPR instruction from elementary school teachers who received standard CPR instruction versus teachers that received more in-depth CPR instruction. The CPR instructors that received more specialized instruction did a significantly better at practicing CPR, better job performing CPR, gave more feedback to students and more engaged in the cognitive activities of CPR instruction. Our instructors undergo traditional CPR certification and then intensive training in cardiac arrest education and hands only training. Each of our instructors teaches thousands of people in a few months time.
Another article in the Journal of the American Heart Association studied what factors led to bystanders to initiate CPR and use an AED in an out of hospital cardiac arrest. The following were described as important facilitators: prior knowledge that intervention is crucial in improving survival, cannot cause substantial harm and prior hands on training in AED use. The beginning of our class educates the students in what a cardiac arrest actually is and the importance of rapid action. Yes we acknowledge that a cardiac arrest victim can be injured during a resuscitation but usually this is just a rib fracture that heals without intervention. We know that almost 100% of the time no resuscitation effort leads to death. So any CPR is better than no CPR. Lastly, we throughly demonstrate how to use an AED and and the simplicity of the device. This part of our class is always very interesting to the students.
We have always felt our method of instruction has been a great approach. Now there is some scientific evidence supporting this technique.
Lastly, an important study in the journal Resuscitation looked at what happened to CPR instructors on down the road in medical school. The CPR instructors in this study were medical students and in this paper they found that by being a CPR instructor improved their effectiveness at teaching and and CPR skills. This is not that surprising that by becoming a CPR instructor will lead to better performance of resuscitation efforts in the future. This is an important skill set for all physicians. We have had a number of our instructors go on to medical school and it is good to know that they will be better physicians because of participation in our program.
1.Iserbyt P., et al.The effect of a specialized content knowledge workshop on teaching and learning Basic Life Support in elementary school: a cluster randomized controlled trial. Resuscitation 2017; 112:17-21.
2. Hansen CM., et al. Lay bystanders’ perspectives on what facilitates cardiopulmonary resuscitation and use of automated external defibrillator in real cardiac arrests. J Am Heart Assoc 2017;6:e004572.
3. Beck S., et al. Teaching school children basic life support improves teaching and basic life support skills of medical students:a randomized, controlled trial. Resuscitation 2016;108:1-7.
We are expanding our CPR teaching efforts to Indianapolis, IN starting this summer. My friend and board member of STHF, Steve Combs, is leading the charge in Indy. Steve brings a wealth of business acumen to our board and recognizes a need in his town. He is passionate about getting this off the ground and having a successful summer internship program. Indianapolis is my home town so I have a soft spot for the place and this will be a very successful venture.
We are actively recruiting interns to become instructors in Indianapolis and we are looking for locations to teach hands only CPR in Indianapolis this summer. If you have any interest in helping us please contact us through the website.