Lutheran Medical Center and Arvada Fire host CPR training class
Two events in Kelly Royster’s life launched her crusade to teach others how to save lives in cardiac events.
Kelly and her best friend were training for a marathon when her friend went into cardiac arrest and died. Kelly was born with an asymptomatic congenital heart defect, and after her friend’s death, she decided she should see a physician about it. A week later, she was scheduled for open heart surgery. The doctors told her without it she would never have crossed the finish line.
Some months ago, Kelly was shopping at an Arvada grocery store when a person collapsed in the parking lot. Kelly performed CPR while asking for others to locate an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) with no success.
Kelly subsequently partnered with the Arvada Fire Protection District to train others, including many of those store employees, how to do hands-only CPR and use an AED.
According to the American Heart Association, 90 percent of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest will not survive. However, CPR, if administered immediately, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. Knowing how to properly perform CPR can save your life, your children's or parents' lives or even the life of a stranger.
“CPR is one of those skills you hopefully will never need to use, but if you are in a situation where a loved one or a community member has a cardiac arrest, wouldn't you want to know how to help?” Royster said.
Learning the basics of CPR can be empowering, and is a skill you can use throughout your lifetime. It’s also evolved over the years and is now easier than ever to get trained or certified. It no longer requires mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and it has been proven that hands-only CPR not only works but is more effective.
Recently, Kelly Royster, RN, Lutheran Medical Center Chest Pain Coordinator, teamed up with professionals from Arvada Fire to teach a class to more than 60 people on how to provide life-saving CPR and use an automated external defibrillator, or AED, in the event of an emergency. The class was held at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities and Arvada Center staff, volunteers and guests, along with members of the Arvada West High School cheer team, participated in classroom-style learning and hands-on demonstrations. Learning the basics of CPR can be empowering, and is a skill you can use throughout your lifetime. It’s also evolved over the years and is now easier than ever to get trained or certified. It no longer requires mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and it has been proven that hands-only CPR not only works but is more effective.
The free educational session included a presentation and short video, then participants broke into small groups to practice simple, hands-only CPR on mannequins and walked through where and how to use an AED.
Royster said: “My goal is to help educate our community on how to perform CPR and use an AED so that they can step in and provide support until EMS arrives. The chances of surviving an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are less than 10 percent. With bystander CPR and the use of an AED, the survival rate increases to 30-40 percent. Knowledge is power!”
Many EMS departments now offer CPR classes for their communities. Several other organizations offer CPR, AED and first aid courses, including American Red Cross. The state of Colorado requires recertification in CPR every two years. For more information or to find a class near you, visit https://www.redcross.org/local/colorado/take-a-class.