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Teach every student how to perform CPR

The Sept. 12 reports of the 10-year-old girl saved with CPR at Veronica Connor Middle School earlier that week demonstrate once again the lifesaving potential of CPR. Congratulations to the school officials and teachers for calling 911 and beginning CPR; they are to be commended for their quick action.

The assistant principal on scene took the time to learn CPR and was prepared to act. This story is a poignant reminder of why everyone should take just a few minutes to learn CPR.

CPR can double or triple survival rates for victims. With the American Heart Association’s new guidelines for hands-only CPR, it’s easier than ever to teach, learn and perform. There are two simple steps: Call 911 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest.

If someone in your family, or a neighbor, or someone in the grocery store collapsed of sudden cardiac arrest, would you know what to do? Of the nearly 400,000 people who suffer sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital each year, the vast majority do not survive. We could change this if more people simply learned CPR.

I strongly encourage all of our local schools to train their students in CPR before they graduate high school so that our community will be filled with individuals who know how to respond in this type of emergency. In addition, I hope our area lawmakers will lead the way in passing legislation ensuring all students learn this lifesaving skill before graduation.

I wish this young student and her family the very best and a speedy recovery.

Anne B. Curtis, M.D., F.A.C.C.

UB Distinguished Professor

Department of Medicine

Buffalo