CPR Training Saves Lives

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COLUMBIA - University Hospital's CPR class attracts a number of people each month-- so many that the hospital has to add extra classes and put people on a waiting list to keep up with the demand. The class teaches new and expectant parents how to perform CPR on infants and young children. 

Courtney Stout, a registered nurse, teaches the CPR class each month.  She says the most common reason for needing CPR is drownings. In the summer, the number of drownings in the area drastically increases.  But children don't only get into trouble in pools: a lot of drownings happen in homes as well. Stout said a lot of drownings happen in bathtubs and even toilets because the kids fall in and can't get out. 

The steps for performing CPR recently changed because Stout says many parents were getting caught up on the steps and unable to effectively perform CPR. Instead of listening for breaths and feeling for a pulse, the new version eliminates those steps.  Instead, those performing CPR should immediately start with chest compressions. Although giving rescue breaths is recommended, if someone doesn't feel comfortable doing rescue breaths, the compressions are normally enough to save a life.

The class also teaches parents how to child proof their homes.