Monday and Tuesday outside of East and West Halls, U-M Club Sports partnered with SaveMiHeart to train hundreds of students in performing hands-only CPR.
Club Sports and SaveMiHeart collaborated with American Heart Association, UM Emergency Medicine, Huron Valley Ambulance and American Red Cross to put on the event, which aimed to raise awareness about cardiac arrest and to prepare people for these emergency situations.
Each day, anywhere from five to 12 instructors stood beside the practice mannequins and automated external defibrillators, ready to train the students who were passing by. Stephen Dowker, LSA junior and SaveMiHeart member, helped to both organize the event and teach hands-only CPR to students.
“We are trying to empower people to act in situations where cardiac arrest occurs,” Dowker said. “The primary goal of SaveMiHeart as a nonprofit is to double cardiac arrest survival in Michigan by the year 2020.”
Robert Neumar, chair of emergency medicine at the University of Michigan, attended the event to lend his support. He said when cardiac arrest occurs outside of the hospital, the system of care is what determines if a person will survive or not, and less than one out of 10 people who go through cardiac arrest outside the hospital will survive.
“One of the most important things in a patient’s treatment is what bystanders can do,” Neumar said. “Bystander CPR and AED can double a person’s chance of surviving.”
Students were trained in hands-only CPR in about five minutes. LSA sophomore Musaab Muhammad was walking back to his dorm when instructors at the event encouraged him to get trained.
“I’ve never done CPR before, and I think it’s a valuable skill to learn,” Muhammad said. “I feel prepared, and I’m happy someone was there to actually point out the specific techniques.”
Engineering sophomore Charlie Rogers was certified in CPR a few years ago and felt the event helped refresh his skills.
“This was really great because some of the specifics of CPR like push down two inches into the chest, how you should place your hands and the specific steps of the AED were just kind of foggy so it was a great refresher,” Rogers said. “Beginners caught on really fast. I think the no-breaths thing really helps a lot.”
LSA sophomore Michelle Baum said she hadn’t done CPR since taking a babysitting class in fourth grade. Baum said she felt her technique was improved and felt the event was helpful.
“I think (a) really important thing they are doing is making people feel comfortable acting in a situation if it did happen,” Baum said.
This is the event’s first year, and organizers said they hope to make it an annual occurrence. Wes Vear, LSA senior and president of the Club Sports Council, said CPR is an easy skill to learn, and training more people could help raise Michigan’s 8-percent pre-hospital cardiac arrest survival rate.
Neumar agreed with Vear and said he hopes this event will create more promising statistics.
“Our mission here is to raise awareness of CPR and get as many people trained as we can in order to save more lives,” he said. “Anybody should be able to save a life.”