CPR training kits available, hope is to create a ‘Nation of Lifesavers’

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You never know when you’ll need to save a life.

In 2017, that life was Tom Malterer’s. He suffered a cardiac arrest while at the Duluth YMCA. Thankfully, staff knew how to use an AED and do CPR, which helped him survive.

He shared his story at the Y on Thursday, on the start of National CPR Awareness Week. “Never did I picture myself to be in need of a cardiac defibrillator. I’m here today because the YMCA made the decision to have one on site.”

The American Heart Association says each year more than 350,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest outside of the hospital, and about 90% do not survive.

To combat this alarming statistic, the American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, is working with St. Luke’s to distribute CPR training kits throughout the Northland.

Through their platform sponsorship of the Northland Go Red for Women campaign, St. Luke’s will distribute a total of 80 Adult & Child CPR Anytime Personal Learning Kits in the Northland, starting with a supply of kits awarded to the Duluth Area Family YMCA .

These kits contain everything needed to learn basic CPR, AED skills, and choking relief anywhere, from the comfort of someone’s private office to a large community group setting.

According to Cheryl Podtburg, Duluth Area Family YMCA Risk and Safety Manager, “The Duluth Area Family YMCA will utilize these kits to educate members, guests, and the broader community about the importance of knowing, and practicing, life-saving CPR skills. We anticipate these kits will be brought to community outreach events, used for CPR demonstrations, and available for staff to practice their CPR skills as needed.”

While performing immediate CPR has been proven to double or triple the chance of surviving an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, bystanders only perform CPR 46% of the time.  In a nationwide online survey, respondents commented on why they did not perform CPR on someone in cardiac arrest despite having the opportunity to do so. Among the reasons given were that they hadn’t been trained to perform CPR, that CPR is too complicated, and that they didn’t feel confident performing the steps.

Kelly Klein, St. Luke’s Cardiac Unit Clinical Supervisor, added, “We know CPR saves lives. We see it every day. But we need people out in the community to help in the chain of survival. It can’t be left to EMS providers alone.”

There are 75 more kits available. For more information: https://www.slhduluth.com/news/2023/may/st-luke-s-offers-cpr-kits-to-community-organizat/