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Medical Students Teach CPR to Philadelphia School Children

September 24, 2010

Eighth graders throughout the Philadelphia school system will soon be learning CPR thanks to the generosity of Drexel University College of Medicine Chairman Manuel Stamatakis and the guidance of Drexel medical students. It’s all part of a new initiative with the American Heart Association (AHA).

The initiative kicked off this week with 60 students from Philadelphia’s Masterman School who became the first of 3000 eighth graders to be trained in CPR using the AHA’s CPR Anytime kits. The kits were purchased through a donation by Stamatakis, who was on hand for the first training demonstration at the school district headquarters. Also in attendance were Drexel medical students who ensured that the school children were correctly administering chest compressions. Under the AHA initiative, 100 Drexel medical students will train eighth grade teachers how to teach CPR techniques to students.

“This is going to be a great program,” Stamatakis told the Masterman students gathered for the training. “We hope that it’s not only going to be successful here, but that you all will inspire a lot of other people.”

According to the AHA, effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. Yet less than one-third of sudden cardiac arrest victims receive immediate CPR. The portable CPR Anytime kits include inflatable dolls and are designed to make CPR easier to learn.