Tuesday, April 23, 2013

According to the American Heart Association, 88% of cardiac arrests occur at home.  If a person has the ability to administer CPR, however, a victim may have as high as triple the chance of survival as someone who does not receive CPR.  While it is important for everyone to have this useful skill, it is especially important that medical professionals who are often exposed to emergency health situations are trained in CPR.  Thankfully, CVIM offers CPR training for all staff and volunteers within the clinic’s walls.

Twice a year, individuals give their time and talent to teach life-saving techniques to the healthcare professionals who walk CVIM’s halls.  CVIM volunteer and Board Member Murfee Aceto, RN and Mary Gilliford, both BLS (Basic Life Support) certified, teach classes to groups of 13 to 16 individuals for half a day, generally in April and October.  Aside from having access to this valuable training right in the clinic, participants also receive a significantly discounted rate for their certification.

This program has taken place successfully at CVIM for more than ten years.  When asked why the program began, CVIM Director of Clinical Support Services Judy Atticks, RN offered two reasons.  “First, we always want to give our volunteers access to education”, she said.  “By having the course in the clinic, we encourage more individuals to take advantage of the training.  As a medical home it is also our responsibility to ensure our patients are safe and secure during emergency situations, and providing the training helps allow for that”.

CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, has a long and vibrant history that includes the rescues of thousands of individuals.  The history of CPR dates back to 1740 when the Paris Academy of Sciences officially recommended mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for drowning victims.  Since then, the procedures have become regulated and training has skyrocketed.  According to their website, the American Heart Association currently trains approximately 12 million people a year in CPR.