Families of kids with heart conditions will receive life-saving gift

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – A small kit that teaches parents a valuable lesson could be the key to saving their child’s life.

Lewis Construction donated 30 new CPR Training Kits to Akron Children’s Hospital in Boardman.

The hospital will give the kits to families who have children that have a greater risk of needing CPR. These children have conditions like heart defects and arrhythmias.

CPR is different depending on the age of the person. The kits teach the “Hands-Only” CPR method.

“There are two steps to Hands-Only CPR. Call 911, and push hard and fast on the chest,” said Sean Dreher, with the American Heart Association. “CPR, if administered immediately, can double or triple someone’s chance of survival.”

The hospital’s cardiology department doesn’t have CPR training, so the kits will be invaluable.

“With cardiac arrest, every minute counts, so having CPR right there as quickly as possible will ultimately benefit the child in the greatest manner. This is an amazing outreach and it shows the support from the community to the families,” said pediatric cardiologist Dr. Peter Vande Kappelle.

Each kit comes with an instructional DVD and an inflatable mannequin to practice CPR on. The kits will help families be more prepared if CPR becomes necessary.

It takes a lot of force and the timing of the chest compressions can be tricky, but Dreher suggested singing a song to keep track of the beats.

“If you are familiar with the song “Staying Alive” by The Beegees, that’s the beat you can keep in your ear. It will absolutely help keep someone alive.”

The American Heart Association said over 350,000 cardiac arrests happen outside of hospitals every year.