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Essay by: ISP035   

One effective approach to promoting CPR awareness for Lay Rescuers in a given community is to target school-aged children with ongoing annual teachings integrated into both Health and Physical Education curricula. Such an effort would directly broaden the pool of competent first responders in a given area. Therefore, increasing the likelihood that (in the event that an emergency situation arose) someone qualified to administer CPR would be close enough by to potentially save a life. Unfortunately, current statistics estimate that a mere 10 percent of those who suffer out-of hospital cardiac arrests in the United States each year will live to tell the story. The morbidity of heart attack victims increases exponentially with each passing minute between cardiac arrest and intervention. Increasing the survivability rate means that CPR intervention must be initiated as soon as possible. Having the largest possible number of competent first responders in the community would likely prove a highly effective intervention between an emergency situation and the grave.

Studies have shown that the efficacy of CPR training diminishes within 6 to 8 weeks in those who have only undergone the training once. It would seem that by integrating CPR training in a continual, ongoing, annual scholastic curriculum would, within a single generation, produce a truly CPR competent population. Of course finding money for implementation of such a program might prove challenging given the strained budgets of most primary and secondary schools. Therefore, I would propose 2 possible solutions. First, educate either Health class or Physical Education teachers to be able to provide the CPR training. A second possible solution could be to have either Medical school students or Nursing school students provide the training as a part of educational curriculum which would provide the numbers of instructors needed to successfully implement such a training program.

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American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 3 (2), pp. 114-119.

Nichol G, Thomas E, Callaway CW, et al. (2008). Regional variation in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest incidence and outcome. JAMA;300(12):1423-1431.

Vaillancourt C, Stiell I, Wells G. (2008). Understanding and improving low bystander CPR rates: a systematic review of the literature. CJEM.;10(1):51-65

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