By Rachel Choe ’17
The dribble of a basketball, the sound of a volleyball hitting forearms, and a CPR lesson. These are the few things that could be heard in the GGYM or in the CGYM this year. In addition to the swish of a net and the unrolling of yoga mats, physical education and health classes are now teaching students how to perform CPR and to access AED. CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and AED is an Automated External Defibrillator.
According to the Mayo Clinic staff, CPR is a technique that can be lifesaving in emergencies, such as heart attacks and drowning incidents, in which someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped.
As of January 6, 2016, bills have been introduced and the state of New York was referred to the Committee of Education for CPR training and AED usage in schools. Many states across the country have commenced lessons beforehand.
“There is a growing trend as more and more states are recognizing that CPR is not only an extremely valuable skill, but should also be made mandatory for students to learn before they can graduate from high school,” states the School CPR website.
Mr. Steve Basille teaches both physical education classes as well as health classes and has taught lessons on CPR and AED starting this school year.
“I taught the students chest compressions for CPR and the way an AED works,” Mr. Basille said.
According to Mr. Basille, the Red Cross had videos that depicted the steps for the training.
To begin performing CPR, one must check for responsiveness from the individual in need. Then, call for medical emergency services if there is no reply. If you are performing hands-only CPR, one must make sure the patient is on his or her back. Next, you place the heel of one hand directly on the center of his or her chest, while the other is placed over and interlaced. Make sure to keep your elbows straight and shoulders are aligned with your hands and begin compressions.
During the lesson, the teachers explained the steps and demonstrated the procedure, keeping in mind that the patient’s head should be tilted and the chin needs to be lifted to open airway. If there are no signs of breathing, the students are taught to give two rescue breaths and blow for one second so the chest visibly rises.
“I believe that it is so important that everyone knows how to do CPR and is familiar with the workings of AED. Students should also reach out for real training that furthers their knowledge on CPR,” stated Mr. Basille.
Medina Omeragic ’17 said, “I’m so grateful to have learned the ways of an AED machine and how to perform CPR. I have always seen it performed on television and watching my teacher demonstrate step-by-step the procedure was really interesting.”
In addition to the CPR chest compression lesson, the faculty members also briefed the students on how to use an AED machine. An AED is an easy machine to navigate and will have a voice aiding the individual with instructions when in use. AEDs can be found throughout the halls and inside classrooms, close distance for students to reach in emergencies.
“Educating students on CPR training and use of AED is really smart and I’m glad they began this while I am here. It’s good to know what to do in an emergency and to have a classroom full of educated peers is reassuring,” Mei Ling Peng ’17 noted.
Mr. Jonathan Skelly is a physical education teacher and has also taught the workings of an AED and performing CPR.
“It is an excellent idea for the students to understand what to do in an emergency situation and I would not change a thing about how the lesson plan works. If someone stops breathing, the students now know what to do, which is to perform CPR or use the AED,” Mr. Skelly concluded.