Little hands can save lives

Children learn how to perform life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation during a CPR training session held Sept. 26 at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Fitness Center.

Children learn how to perform life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation during a CPR training session held Sept. 26 at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Fitness Center.

Story and photo by Susan Schultz

Naval Health Clinic Hawaii Public Affairs

Dozens of children learned how to perform life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Fitness Center on Sept. 26.

The children, from grades kindergarten to six, learned two important steps to save a life: Call 911 and get an automated external defibrillator (AED), and push hard and fast. They said they were eager to learn and followed the steps given by the instructors.

Lillian Green, who participated in the training, said she liked being able to use the mannequin, and she is confident she could perform CPR if needed.

Pam Foster, founder of the Hawaii Heart Foundation and president of AED Institute of America, brought this life-saving program to the children. Foster started the “Kids Teaching Kids to Save Lives” campaign to teach school-aged children how to perform a different aspect of CPR and the chain of survival.

Naval Health Clinic Hawaii was one of the event sponsors, providing more than 40 active duty volunteer instructors from the joint services. All of the volunteers have attended courses through Naval Health Clinic Hawaii’s basic life support (BLS) training program.

“You are never too young to save a life. Remember, call 911. Push hard, push fast and only stop if the patient says ouch,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Aaron Hepps, the command’s BLS program director.

For Capt. Catherine Mac-Donald, senior nurse executive for Naval Health Clinic Hawaii, this training is vital from a personal and professional level. Recently, her 12-year-old niece suffered cardiac arrest and is alive today because another child performed CPR until emergency medical services arrived.

Seattle, Wash. has the highest survival rate for cardiac arrest in the nation. MacDonald’s family lives in Seattle.

There are about 325,000 sudden cardiac deaths in the United States each year. About 14,000 of these deaths occur in children and infants.

(For more information about the “Kids Teaching Kids to Save Lives” campaign, visit www.hawaiiheart.org.)

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Category: News