Hands-Only CPR and AED Instruction in GCPS

Last Updated on Dec 4, 2015 at 1:14pm

Perry Hall High School field hockey player, Breanna Sudano collapsed during a match and was saved when someone performed CPR on her.  In response, Senate Bill 503 (Annotated Code 7-205.2), commonly known as “Breanna’s Law”, was signed into law by Governor Martin O’Malley in the 2014 General Assembly session.  Beginning with this year’s freshman class, Maryland students are now required to learn how to perform Hands-Only Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in order to graduate from high school.
The Hands-Only CPR method involves chest compressions without mouth-to-mouth ventilation.  The support provided to an individual in cardiac arrest through chest compressions can have a profound impact on survivability.  The new CPR requirement began with this year’s ninth grade students.  While there is not an “official” card for Hands-Only CPR as is issued with regular CPR instruction by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross, students in Garrett County Public Schools will receive a certificate of completion as well as an endorsement on their transcript signifying their completion of the training.  They will have to pass a health course (already a graduation requirement), which will also include the mandatory training on the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) and the Hands-Only CPR, in order to graduate from high school.  Instructors in Garrett County Public Schools are Mrs. Nan Gangler, Mrs. Brenda Strosnider, and Mrs. DeAnn Kennell at Southern High School, and Mrs. Terry J. Stough and Mrs. Rebecca Aiken at Northern High School.
                DeAnn Kennell, Nurse, and Brenda Strosnider, Allied Health teacher,
                        demonstrating the AED on the mannequin.
According to Jacquelyn F. Crews, M.D. at All Children’s Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine in St. Petersburg, “survival rate after cardiac arrest that occurs outside a hospital without CPR is less than 10 percent.  This grim statistic may drastically improve to greater than 60 percent with the addition of immediate CPR.” 
                      Nan Gangler working with Southern High School students. 
                Left to Right: Brandon Green, Mason Hordubay, Austin Rodeheaver 
          In the background of this picture (left side), left to right is: Nicole Glotfelty,
                  Hunter Park, Madison Shaffer, Justin Shafer, Bryson Armstrong
According to Bruce Griffin, director of health and sport safety at US Lacrosse, in a previous article in the Baltimore Sun “This law is a great step forward in the state of Maryland.  Having more qualified and trained individuals who can assist in emergency situations is a wonderful thing. Coupled with the use of AEDs, which US Lacrosse supports through grant opportunities, our hope is that more citizens will be empowered to act when lives are at stake.” In that same Baltimore Sun article a lacrosse parent, US Lacrosse Coach, and EMS shift commander with the Baltimore County Fire Department Steve Adelsberger stated  “It’s not only O.K. to help another human being that’s in great need, but it can be critically necessary.”
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of death in the United States, taking the lives of an estimated 400,000 people each year. Known as an indiscriminate killer, SCA can strike anyone - including seemingly healthy young athletes. As in Breanna’s case, between 25 and 33 percent of sudden cardiac arrest fatalities occur during sports activity.  The most effective treatment for sudden cardiac arrest is the timely delivery of a life-saving shock or defibrillation via an AED unit. CPR can effectively bridge the gap until an AED is utilized.  “We know that CPR works, but somebody needs to do something before we get there,” Adelsberger said. “CPR buys time until an AED arrives.”
           Northern High School students, Emily Brobst and Lauren Derato performing CPR.
Through a collaborative effort between Garrett College, Deep Creek Property Owners’ Association, Garrett County Health Department, Garrett Regional Medical Center, and area Fire and Rescue Organizations training materials were purchased by the Property Owners’ Association and are currently housed at Garrett College Continuing Education Building.  For more information about Hands-Only CPR or training for groups or organizations, please contact Michelle Harman at GCPS or any of the listed agencies.  Interested individuals may also visit here.
                        Southern High Students practicing on the mannequin. 
              Left to right: Austin Rodeheaver, Brandon Green, Mason Hordbay
           Northern High School students working to perfect their skills on the mannequin.
                           (L-R)  Front:  Cody Eyler and Gavin Yutzy.
                            Back:  Emily Brobst and Lauren Derato

Want more news?
See All Garrett County Public Schools News