CPR and basic life support class participants and instructor Dr. Qing Zhong, third from left, show some of the equipment used in the classes.

Ongoing CPR and basic life support classes at St. Matthew’s University are not only teaching people how to save lives in an emergency, but are also raising funds for the Cayman Heart Fund.

The university offers the classes throughout the year and a portion of the funds collected are donated to the Cayman Heart Fund to support its work at creating awareness about and tackling cardiac issues in the Cayman Islands.

Dr. Qing Zhong, instructor and coordinator for the program, said in a press release: “Our goal is to work together with CHF to enhance the awareness of emergency care, as well as the successful rate of rescue of cardiac arrest and choking for medical staff and non-medical personnel in the Cayman Islands.”

Qualified students receive a certificate authorized by the American Heart Association.

“We are so pleased when students let us know that they are no longer afraid of an emergency situation and that the examples and one-on-one interaction made all the difference in feeling confident enough to help,” Dr. Zhong added.

University Dean Dr. Amitabha Basu explained in the release that the university has been providing basic life-saving training to local medical, paramedical staff members, students, and non-medical personnel since July 10, 2010.

“There is an urgent need to make CPR training a must in schools and colleges and especially at the community level so that family members of those people, who fall under high risk zone for developing heart ailments, can give immediate medical assistance in times of emergency. Knowing how to give CPR properly can be a great asset and can save the life of a person when his or her heart stops beating,” Dr. Basu said.

Cayman Heart Fund board chairman David Dinner commended the instructors on their commitment to saving lives in the Cayman Islands.

Instructor Dr. Anup Rao described basic life support as an important life-saving tool, not to “treat” the person but to buy valuable time until emergency medical aid arrives.

For more information about the Cayman Heart Fund or about CPR or basic life support classes at St. Matthew’s University, call 916-6324 or email [email protected]