Dartmouth Health, American Heart Association team up to save lives by providing CPR training kits to New Hampshire schools

A CPR in Schools kit is dropped off at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, New Hampshire.
A CPR in Schools kit is dropped off at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, New Hampshire.

Knowing how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is critically important. CPR, especially if performed immediately, could double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival. Quick, simple and easy to learn, Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be as effective in the first few minutes as conventional CPR for cardiac arrest at home, at work or in public.

June 1-7 each year is National CPR Awareness Week, spotlighting how lives can be saved if more Americans know CPR. That is why the American Heart Association, the worldwide leader in resuscitation science and education, and Dartmouth Health are adding lifesavers to the chain of survival by providing Hands-Only CPR educational resources to New Hampshire schools.

“By providing the tools and education to schools for students and staff to learn Hands-Only CPR, we have the chance to equip these people with a lifelong skill that could save a life someday,” said Eric S. Rothstein, MD, a cardiologist with Dartmouth Health's Heart & Vascular Center at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. “The Heart & Vascular Center is committed to promoting CPR education, and teaming up with the American Heart Association on this effort is a natural partnership. Our goal is to help make New Hampshire communities safer by educating school staff and students on these lifesaving skills.”

The Association and Dartmouth Health will focus on Hands-Only CPR education at New Hampshire Career and Technical (CTE) Schools. As a part of the collaboration, 15 CPR in Schools Training Kits™ will be placed throughout New Hampshire at the following CTE schools:

  • J. Oliva Huot Technical Center, Laconia
  • Lakes Region Technology Center, Wolfeboro
  • North Point CTE (Career Technical Education), Colebrook
  • Berlin Public Schools, Berlin
  • Mount Washington Valley Career & Technical Center, North Conway
  • CONVAL High School CTE, Peterborough
  • Cheshire Career Center, Keene
  • Palmer CTE Center at Alvirne High School, Hudson
  • Pinkerton Academy, Derry
  • Manchester School of Technology, Manchester
  • Portsmouth Career & Technical Center, Portsmouth
  • Creteau Technology Center, Rochester
  • Dover High School & Regional Career Technical Center, Dover
  • Concord Regional Technical Center, Concord
  • Seacoast School of Technology, Exeter

The American Heart Association's newly upgraded CPR in Schools Training Kit™ enables students to learn the lifesaving skills of CPR in just one class period. Plus, the kit teaches automated external defibrillator (AED) use and choking relief. The easy-to-use kit is designed specifically for the needs of schools. The kit’s wheeled bag allows for convenient movement from classroom to classroom and easy storage. It’s also reusable—one kit can train hundreds of staff and students.

In the U.S., cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death. Each year, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside the hospital, and about 20 percent occur in public places. Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating and can no longer pump blood to the brain or vital organs. Within seconds, a person becomes unresponsive and may not be breathing. When a person has a cardiac arrest, survival depends on immediately receiving CPR from someone nearby.

“Unfortunately, too many sudden cardiac arrest victims don’t get the help they need,” said Brian Shankey, executive director of the American Heart Association, Northern New England. “Knowing how to respond in a cardiac emergency when seconds matter is literally the difference between life and death. Thanks to Dartmouth Health’s support, we will be able to help thousands of people to respond in those crucial first moments after cardiac arrest.”

Hands-Only CPR is recommended for bystanders to use when someone suddenly collapses from cardiac arrest to keep the heart pumping until professional medical help arrives. Hands-Only CPR has two easy steps:

  1. First, call 911 when you see a teen or adult collapse suddenly.
  2. Then, push hard and fast in the center of the person’s chest until professional help arrives. Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR for cardiac arrest at home, at work or in public.

"Through our CPR in Schools Training Kit and Train the Trainer program, we are empowering students to lead their school community by becoming true lifesavers,” said Robyn Birren, the Association’s School Engagement Director for New Hampshire.

For more information about Hands-Only CPR and other CPR training resources, visit the Hands-Only CPR web page. If you would like to learn more about bringing lifesaving skills such as Hands-Only CPR training to your New Hampshire school community, contact Robyn Birren at robyn.birren@heart.org.

About Dartmouth Health

Dartmouth Health, New Hampshire's only academic health system and the state's largest private employer, serves patients across northern New England. Dartmouth Health provides access to more than 2,000 providers in almost every area of medicine, delivering care at its flagship hospital, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH, as well as across its wide network of hospitals, clinics and care facilities. DHMC is consistently named the #1 hospital in New Hampshire by U.S. News & World Report, and recognized for high performance in numerous clinical specialties and procedures. Dartmouth Health includes Dartmouth Cancer Center, one of only 56 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation, and the only such center in northern New England; Dartmouth Health Children’s, which includes Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, the state’s only children’s hospital, and multiple clinic locations around the region; member hospitals in Lebanon, Keene and New London, NH, and Bennington and Windsor, VT; Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire; and more than 24 clinics that provide ambulatory services across New Hampshire and Vermont. Through its historical partnership with Dartmouth and the Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth Health trains nearly 400 medical residents and fellows annually, and performs cutting-edge research and clinical trials recognized across the globe with Geisel and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT. Dartmouth Health and its more than 13,000 employees are deeply committed to serving the healthcare needs of everyone in our communities, and to providing each of our patients with exceptional, personal care.