About 1,400 Louisville seventh graders are learning CPR this fall as part of a program from the American Heart Association. The AHA is training middle school physical education teachers, who are in turn going back to their schools and teaching their students.
Louisville EMS Director Dr. Neal Richmond says only a third of the victims of cardiac arrest receive CPR before the EMS workers arrive, and they’re hoping to change that by educating people at a younger age.
“There’s been some research, studies that have looked at this,” says Richmond. “Actually, what we’re trying to do is change the culture, so the bottom line is someday you don’t graduate school unless you really know CPR.”
Richmond says they’d like to expand the program to more middle schools. Currently the only middle schools participating are Farnsley, Olsmsted North and South, Lassiter, Liberty and Moore Traditional.
It’s estimated around 80% of cardiac arrests occur at home, and the administration of CPR before the ambulance arrives greatly increases the victim’s chance of surviving.