October 12, 2018

Wayne State wins CPR Challenge, trains 1,000 in the hands-only technique for cardiac arrest

Three staff/faculty members learned how to perform hands-only CPR using these 'Annie' manikins at the School of Medicine's Sept. 19 training session.

Wayne State University won Michigan's first "University Hands-Only CPR Challenge," held last month at various locations throughout the university, including at the School of Medicine.

The challenge was created by two Wayne State University undergraduate students and the American Heart Association of Southeast Michigan to see which university could teach the most people hands-only CPR through sessions held Sept. 15-21. Several universities throughout Michigan participated.

The AHA will host an awards ceremony and celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 23 in the WSU's Student Center Hilberry E and F.

Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death. CPR, if performed properly and immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim's chance of survival.

Of the more than 1,500 trained in hands-only CPR techniques for cardiac arrest, 1,040 were trained at WSU, including 758 students, 211 faculty and staff, and 71 community members such as alumni and family and friends of university employees and students.

"Thank you to all the volunteers who helped to facilitate this challenge at Wayne State University," said Challenge Director Cedric Mutebi, a WSU undergraduate pre-medicine student. "The energy was extremely vibrant. These people came energized and excited to learn. A lot of them even brought coworkers from their office or friends with them. The energy that was brought by our volunteers, the music and the overall environment also drew many students to come and get trained."

Mutebi designed the University Hands-Only CPR Challenge to teach an important life-saving skill in a fun way.

"Given the context of the health of our city, it is important to empower agency in health and care of others to allow for improved health outcomes across the city. As students, it is important to recognize our role in engaging our own communities - WSU, Detroit and wherever else we may live - and this is just one form of that," he said. "With cardiac arrests being a source of large health disparities, this challenge just brought it all together in a way that was simple, fun and educative at the same time. The bystander response rate in Detroit is about three for every 10 cardiac arrests, so if we can give as many people (as possible) the tools and confidence to perform CPR, hopefully we can start seeing improved rates of intervention and health outcomes."

The School of Medicine's Director of Contract Negotiations Julie Sullivan -- a former nurse and Basic Life Support instructor -- jumped at the chance to volunteer as a CPR trainer.

"People were excited to learn this. You could tell that it made them feel more powerful to know this. Many people said there were plenty of people in their department who wanted to be trained but couldn't make it," Sullivan said. "It was just so nice to see people feeling empowered."

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