Basic life support (BLS) is a skill that many people in the community are lacking. Nearly 400,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States (American Heart Association, 2012), and of this 89% of the people die because they did not receive immediate CPR by a bystander (American Heart Association, 2012).
In communities throughout Contra Costa County in the state of California, several cities have experienced tragedies of teens that have died due to sudden cardiac death and lack of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or defibrillator use. In December 2009, a 15 year-old Dairus Jones from Pittsburgh High School died after going into sudden cardiac arrest on the basketball court (Darius Jones Foundation, 2011) and in January 2010, 15-year-old Calvary Christian Academy student Joshua Ellison, of El Sobrante, died after collapsing at a basketball game (Contra Costa Times, 2010).
Despite the fact that from May 2009 - February 2010, in Contra Costa County alone, there were 9 sudden cardiac arrests experienced by children and youth, there is no standard curriculum in place at school for youth and their parents to learn lifesaving CPR skills. The youngest was 10 years of age and the oldest was 17, which resulted in 4 deaths and 5 saved lives (Darius Jones Foundation, 2011). In each case, there was a direct correlation between bystander use of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and those children who survived.
The American Heart Association gives sufficient evidence for the need of change by acknowledging that sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death (2012). These fatalities affect both adult and child victims. Statistics also show that 70% of people feel helpless during a cardia...
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...ng cause of death. In Contra Costa County from 2009-2010, 9 sudden cardiac arrest occurred in children. The survival rates and deaths of the youth were a direct correlation of CPR use. Several factors are related to a bystander unwillingness to perform CPR on victims. These factors contribute to 89% of victims dying.
The proposed change project will introduce CPR training to the schools of Contra Costa County. By educating faculty, students, and parents about the benefits of performing CPR and providing basic CPR training tools, the 70% of people who feel helpless during a cardiac emergency will decrease. Using social media tools, like YouTube, allows a larger population to receive education. Overall, by allowing the project into schools, the number of people who are fearful and or unwilling to perform CPR will increase and thereby improve the chances of survival.