OAKLEAF – Placing one hand over the other, Jason Kwak laced his fingers together and placed them in the middle of the dummy’s chest. The Bee Gees 1970s hit "Stayin’ Alive" prompted the sea of fifth grade students kneeling over their "victims" to pump the chest in time with the beat. In the first few measures of the song, 155 students performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation in sync with the disco song made popular with the film "Saturday Night Fever."
"My hands are hurting," Kwak said Feb.26 after a rigorous round of handsonly CPR. "I had to stop and shake them for a minute."
Hands Only CPR was developed by the American Heart Association in 2008. Moving the blood around the body during cardiac arrest is more important than giving breaths on a victim’s lips. Hands Only CPR teaches proper hand placement in the center of the chest and pumping hard and fast until trained professionals arrive on the scene.
"Bystanders are more willing to give CPR to someone who has collapsed because Hands Only is simpler and easier," said Allison Misora of the American Heart Association. "It removes the mouth to mouth connection on someone they know or a stranger."
St. Vincent’s HealthCare donated $5,425 to Kwak’s school, Plantation Oaks Elementary. Each $35 kit included a plastic dummy with an air spout to blow it up. A clicking sound let the children know to press harder. from page 12
"We picked this grade level because of the maturity level," said Christine Veal, director of cardiovascular service line at St. Vincent’s. "These kids may be riding their bike in the community and see an adult in cardiac arrest. This education could make a huge difference."
St. Vincent’s Medical Center Clay County, which will open in October on Branan Field Road and Blanding Boulevard, will serve the Oakleaf community.
"Oakleaf is a brand new housing development and we asked how we could most serve the area surrounding St. Vincent’s Clay County," Veal said.
Matthew Braddock D.O. led the demonstration along with a DVD also included in the kits.
"Before I was a doctor, I learned what you’re learning today," Braddock said, a family medical physician at St. Vincent’s. "It has saved many lives."
Plantation Oaks Elementary welcomed St. Vincent’s for the second consecutive year and hopes to make it an annual educational event.
Braddock explained that a heart attack is different from cardiac arrest, where electrical impulses make the heart beat rapidly or chaotic rhythms. Either way, providing CPR to 100 beats per minute could save a life. Ten and eleven year olds are old enough to recognize the signs of trouble and the appropriate time to use CPR.
"First, I see if they are okay," said Cedavion Smith. "If they don’t answer, I’ll tell someone to call 911. Then I start performing CPR. I think I can actually do it if it happened in real life."
Smith’s friend Brandom Read jokingly shook his dummy to simulate a person falling to cardiac arrest.
"I learned that pumping the blood is more important having crushed ribs," Read said. "If someone fell on the street, I could help them."
STAFF PHOTO BY SARAH WAKEFIELD
STAFF PHOTOS BY SARAH WAKEFIELD
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OAKLEAF– Left to right, Nicole Masters, Tea Scott and Kaitlynn Johnson practice compressions during a recent hands-only CPR lesson for fifth grade students at Plantation Oaks Elementary.
Candice Deary prepares to learn the three steps of CPR. Tap and shout, call 911 and press hard and fast.
Elijah Rodriguz, left, removes the Mini AnneCPR doll from its package. Brian Villa, middle, and Jason Kwak, right, perform compressions to the beat of 70s disco song "Stayin’ Alive." They are two of 155 Plantation Oaks students who are fluent in Hands Only CPR.