"Have A Heart" student group trains entire freshman class in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

Training is under the supervision of emergency physician and faculty member Edmund Hooker | August 26, 2013

A student-run organization named “Xavier has a Heart” has trained all first-year students at Xavier in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) this year. Lay-person CPR is now compression-only and can be taught very quickly.

Since last year, the student group has been training faculty and fellow students in compression-only CPR under the direction of Dr. Edmond Hooker, an emergency physician and full-time faculty member in the Department of Health Services Administration.

Members of the group planned to train all incoming freshmen in compression-only CPR during Manresa, Xavier’s new-student orientation program, after students moved began arriving on campus on Wednesday, Aug. 21. The training took place on Thursday, Aug. 22, and Friday, Aug. 23, at the Cintas Center. Students were also trained on the use of automatic external defibrillators (AED).

Survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is greatly increased if the patient has CPR performed immediately while waiting for emergency medical personnel to arrive. In the last few years, the American Heart Association has promoted compression-only CPR. Many bystanders are reluctant to perform CPR because it used to require mouth-to-mouth breathing. The elimination of the mouth-to-mouth breathing increases the likelihood of a patient in cardiac arrest receiving CPR. Studies have shown that rescue breathing is so hard to perform that it can interrupt chest compressions and actually decreases survival chances.

Everyone can be easily trained in compression-only CPR, Hooker said, noting that “you cannot do anything but good with compression-only CPR. The person has very little chance of survival without CPR, and any CPR is better than nothing.”