Just days after a City of Norfolk employee learned CPR, she put it to use, helping save a life when a fellow shopper collapsed at a Norfolk supermarket. The city worker is one of a growing number of people who has mastered the lifesaving technique thanks to training conducted by EVMS students.
The outreach is recognition of the impact CPR can have on survival. More than 300,000 people die annually in the Unite States as a result of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Communities that have increased rates of bystander CPR — that provided by non-medically trained individuals — have seen improvements in OHCA.
In Norfolk, there were 346 cardiac arrests during a one-year span. Of those only 40 (12 percent) received bystander CPR. EVMS has teamed with Norfolk Fire and Rescue and the American Heart Association to change those statistics. Focusing on areas where CPR rates are low, the students also are educating participants on how to use an automated external defibrillator. The entire training takes only about 20 minutes. It is part of the service-learning curriculum offered through EVMS' M. Foscue Brock Institute for Community and Global Health.