The Property Owners’ Association of Deep Creek Lake, Inc. presented 50 inflatable practice CPR manikins and 12 automated external defibrillator (AED) training units to Garrett College for use in community training events. This equipment will allow up to 50 individuals to be trained at once in "hands-only" CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and AED use.
"We feel strongly that hands-only CPR can save lives in Garrett County," said Lou Battistella, DCLPOA board member emeritus. "Because it only takes 30 minutes to learn, making the training available to many people will increase the chance of someone being available to start CPR when it’s needed."
The first mass training event using the new equipment was conducted during the Garrett County Health Fair this Saturday, April 12, at CARC. The training will be conducted by the local high school Emergency Services clubs, and a booth promoting hands-only CPR and AED training will be sponsored by the Garrett County Health Department in collaboration with the service clubs, as well as Garrett County Memorial Hospital, Garrett College, Garrett County School System, and Garrett County EMS.
Beth Philipson, a registered nurse from Baltimore County who has a vacation home at Deep Creek Lake, has been instrumental in promoting hands-only CPR both locally and in her home community, the health officer said.
"Hands-only CPR works for victims of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) when the arrest was caused by an electrical disturbance in the heart," Philipson said. "I have met SCA survivors who received several minutes of just chest compressions before an AED was used and made full recoveries."
A person in sudden cardiac arrest has no heartbeat and is not breathing. Most victims of SCA have a deadly heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (V-fib). Chest compressions alone buy time for victims in V-fib until a defibrillator (AED) can shock the heart back into a rhythm that produces a heartbeat.
Not many pieces of legislation to come out of Annapolis can be described as a matter of life or death. But the CPR law signed by Gov. Martin O’Malley is just that. Known as Brenna’s Law, the legislation requires that all Maryland high schoolers will be required to complete CPR training as part of the graduation requirement. Brenna’s Law is named for a Perry Hall teenager who collapsed during a field hockey game at her school. A bystander performed CPR and saved her life. In Virgina, lawmakers also passed a CPR law for students after a 12-year-old girl died at her school because no one knew how to perform CPR.
Under Maryland’s new law, students also will be trained to use automated external defibrillators.
Beginning in the 2015-16 school year, public school students will be required to complete the CPR training as part of the health or physical education curriculum.