Inspiring the young to save lives

December 2, 2009 by  

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teenagersCardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and using an automated external defibrillators (AED) are life-saving skills that everybody should learn. Including children. In a previous post, I described a study by Austrian researchers which indicated that school children as young as 9 years can be trained to perform these emergency procedures effectively.

The American Heart Association (AHA) has just launched a new online tool cardiac arrest awareness that teaches 12- to 15-year-olds the above-mentioned skills. However, this is no ordinary teaching tool. In order to inspire the youth to participate, the campaign uses fun and creative ways to learn the basics of CPR and AED use. The new online cardiac arrest awareness campaign is called Be the Beat and it includes video games, quizzes and songs that are appealing to this age group.

But why teach young people CPR and AED use? Because bystander helps increases the chances of a patient’s survival by two or three times during cardiac arrest. And young people are always around with others of their age at school, in sports, in leisure time. In this age group, they do not require 100% adult supervision anymore. In cases of emergency, they should be able to help each other.

Here’s what Beat the Beat has to offer:

In addition, the site also offers resources for educators and schools including downloadable lesson plans and templates for creating and sustaining an in-school emergency response plan.

According to Dr. Michael Sayre, chair of AHA’s Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee.

“Be the Beat is helping to create the next generation of lifesavers by empowering teens and tweens to act when they see someone suddenly collapse. Sadly, far too many people are dying from cardiac arrest – we want this campaign to inspire people to help save lives.”

This campaign is supported by Medtronic Foundation. Schools can apply for a $1000 Be the Beat Mini Grant from the foundation.

Photo credit: stock.xchng

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