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Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Senior Citizens May Gain New Chance at Life from Teenagers Trained in CPR by AHA

Classroom-tested kit from American Heart Association empowers educators to teach students CPR; People will die within minutes after cardiac arrest without early defibrillation or CPR

Mini Annie CPR in Schools Training kit - Thousands of senior citizens may someday live to see another day after suffering cardiac arrest, thanks to a new program by the American Heart Association that is training school children throughout the United States in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

Nearly 360,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital each year, and most of those victims die, often because bystanders don’t know how to start CPR or are afraid they’ll do something wrong. The American Heart Association believes kids are the answer to saving more lives.


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Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death among adults over the age of 40. The number of people who die in the U.S. each year from SCA is roughly equivalent to the number who die from Alzheimer's disease, assault with firearms, breast cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, diabetes, HIV, house fires, motor vehicle accidents, prostate cancer and suicides combined, according to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation.

The American Heart Association is helping prepare more students, their teachers and their families to save lives with the CPR in Schools Training Kit™. The hands-on, interactive kit is based on the latest science and makes it easy for educators to train the next generation of lifesavers in 30 minutes or less.

Using a “practice while watching” approach, students practice CPR with their own inflatable manikin while watching and learning from a DVD. Students learn Hands-Only™ CPR, and other life-saving techniques like giving breaths, choking relief and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). The portable kit can be reused to train a whole class, grade level or even an entire school. Each kit comes with 10 manikins and instructional DVDs so that kids can take training home and help pass these lifesaving skills to their family and community.

About Cardiac Arrest

The heart has an internal electrical system that controls the rhythm of the heartbeat. Problems can cause abnormal heart rhythms, called arrhythmias.

There are many types of arrhythmia. During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or it can stop beating.

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occurs when the heart develops an arrhythmia that causes it to stop beating.

This is different than a heart attack, where the heart usually continues to beat but blood flow to the heart is blocked.

There are many possible causes of SCA. They include coronary heart disease, physical stress, and some inherited disorders. Sometimes there is no known cause for the SCA.

Without medical attention, the person will die within a few minutes. People are less likely to die if they have early defibrillation. Defibrillation sends an electric shock to restore the heart rhythm to normal. You should give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to a person having SCA until defibrillation can be done.

If you have had an SCA, an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) reduces the chance of dying from a second SCA.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

“Four out of every five out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in private or residential settings, so we have to find ways to emphasize the importance of knowing CPR to save the lives of family members and loved ones,” said Robert W. Neumar, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of the University of Michigan Medical School’s Department of Emergency Medicine.

“The CPR in Schools Training Kits enable educators to teach students life-saving CPR, and empowers schools to serve the families in their communities,” said Neumar, who serves as Chair of the American Heart Association’s Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee.

Lawmakers in 12 states are requiring all students to be trained in psychomotor skill-based CPR before graduating from high school. Seven states have laws in place or that go into effect this school year, and five more have passed laws that will be implemented in the future. To learn more about CPR in Schools legislation, go to

Additional materials are available at To learn more about the American Heart Association’s CPR & First Aid programs, call 1-877-AHA4CPR or visit

About the American Heart Association 

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or join us, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any of our offices around the country, or visit

The life you save with CPR is mostly likely to be someone you love

Anyone can learn CPR – and everyone should! Sadly, 70 percent of Americans may feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they either do not know how to administer CPR or their training has significantly lapsed. This alarming statistic could hit close to home, because home is exactly where 88 percent of cardiac arrests occur. Put very simply: The life you save with CPR is mostly likely to be someone you love.

Last June, in honor of National CPR Week, the American Heart Association called on all Americans to learn how to give Hands-Only CPR by watching a simple one-minute video at Once you have learned CPR, give 5 people you care about the power to save lives by equipping them to act quickly in a crisis.


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