Life saving training

Cayman Heart Fund has joined forces with St. Matthew’s University’s School of Medicine to train people how to use defibrillators and carry out basic CPR.

The nonprofit organisation has been coordinating the installation of automated external defibrillator units in workplaces and public places throughout the Cayman Islands and is making training for use of the devices and basic life support publicly available.

At the university, eight qualified instructors and 10 qualified providers will train, for free, employers, employees and community groups on the correct usage of the AEDs.

The AED training is offered free to organisations that purchase or receive a defibrillator from the Cayman Heart Fund.

When used in the first three-to-five minutes of a person collapsing, AEDs have been shown to dramatically increase the survival rate of a person suffering from sudden cardiac arrest.

The devices distributed by the organisation are straightforward and easy to use. They audibly instruct the rescuer about exactly what to do during each step of the process, (e.g. “check breathing and pulse”) and even will deliver indicated shocks automatically and safely.

A person’s chance of survival drops 10 per cent for every minute that passes between cardiac arrest and getting the heart restarted.

Since time is the most important factor in a cardiac emergency, Dr. Sook Yin, medical director of the CHF said, “We wish for the public to understand and feel confident to call 911 and then grab the closest AED should a person suddenly collapse. Persons availing of the free short AED training sessions will enhance such confidence and thus the chances of survival.”

The Cayman Heart Fund and St. Matthew’s also offer basic life support training, known as CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, to nannies, teachers and day care providers to help them respond more quickly and efficiently in case of an emergency.

The university and fund are also offering CPR classes to employers and community groups at $60 per person. The sessions may be conducted either at the group’s meeting site or workplace or at the university campus.

Organisations and companies may combine the free AED and $60 basic life support trainings back-to-back.

Next year, the Cayman Heart Fund also plans to offer advanced cardiac life support instructor training for medical professionals.

“CHF will continue its annual provider education cardiac symposium and is pleased to expand its cardiac education efforts for the country’s professionals,” said Suzy Soto, Cayman Heart Fund chair emeritus.

The Cayman Heart Fund is appealing to businesses, schools, homeowners and public entities to prepare, protect and prevent deaths from cardiovascular disease.

For information on AED installation or any of the training courses, contact the Cayman Heart Fund 916-6324 or email [email protected]

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