Stamford Officials Seek CPR Training Record

As Appearing in The Stamford Advocate

STAMFORD — City officials are hoping to train 10,000 Stamford adults in CPR  in a single day — an event organizers say will improve heart health in the  community and possibly break Singapore’s world record for large-scale  CPR instruction.

Hands for Life, a group of government and Stamford  Hospital officials as well as local volunteers, is coordinating the free  training session Aug. 25 at Chelsea Piers. More than 100 trained instructors  will teach hands-only chest compressions to 1,000 people an hour in 15-minute  intervals, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“Each and every person who has this training will feel empowered and have the  power to potentially save a life,” Mayor Michael  Pavia said at a Tuesday news conference announcing the initiative. “Are we  going to let a little city like Singapore stand in our way?”

The Singapore  Heart Foundation organized the CPR training session, which provided  instruction to 7,909 people in January 2011, that holds the record, according to  Guinness World Records’ website. In addition to possibly snagging international  recognition for the city, Stamford cardiologist Thomas  Nero said the August event will raise awareness for the life-saving  cardiac procedure.

“Each year 785,000 Americans suffer from a heart attack and nearly 300,000 of  these suffer cardiac arrest at the same time, often outside a hospital setting,”  Nero said Wednesday. “Many people feel helpless to act during a cardiac  emergency, because they do not know how to administer CPR, do not feel confident  in their skills or are afraid.”

The first response to a cardiac event should be calling 911, Nero said.  Providing chest compressions or an automatic external defibrillator to a person  suffering a cardiac event can also buy life-saving time until paramedics arrive,  he said.

Stamford resident Chris  Mira experienced the terror of cardiac distress twice in one week. The  Greens Farm Academy physical education teacher said he was walking to the store  from his home when he began suffering from what felt like  intense indigestion.

“The pain knocked me down to my knees,” Mira said. “So I turned around and  headed home. The whole time I was telling myself this wasn’t a heart attack.  They say when you’re dying your whole life passes before your eyes. I didn’t see  my past, I saw my future. My son had a birthday coming up.”

Mira collapsed on his living room floor and was saved by emergency workers  who responded to his wife’s 911 call. At the hospital he learned an artery  collapsed due to high cholesterol, and he received a stent to repair the damage.  A few days after he returned home from the hospital he suffered another attack  and was saved by two friends who performed CPR after he passed out.

“Like Dr. Nero said, if the people closest to you are trained in CPR, there’s  a better chance of survival if you suffer an attack,” Mira said.

Read more: The Stamford Advocate

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10,000 in Stamford To Set New Hands-Only CPR World Record

As Appearing in the Stamford Business Outlook sponsored by the Stamford Chamber of Commerce in The Stamford Advocate

Save the Date:  Hands for Life® Stamford – August 25, 2012

The statistics are alarming. Each year 785,000 Americans suffer from a heart attack and nearly 300,000 of these suffer sudden cardiac arrest at the same time, outside a hospital setting. Less than one in four receives CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) from a bystander, and only about five percent of cardiac arrest victims survive.  However, Stamford is working to improve the odds.

“The solution,” explains Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia who is leading a new community-wide initiative called Hands for Life Stamford 2012, “is to train more people to provide Hands-Only CPR, so more can be helped instantly, doubling or even tripling their chances for survival.”

In addition to saving lives, Hands for Life ® Stamford 2012 plans to break a world record and create a new one – by training 10,000 or more adult residents from Stamford, Darien and surrounding areas in Hands Only CPR, and in the use of an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator).

“The Stamford area community is ideal for this record-breaking event,” Mayor Pavia explains, “We expect a tremendous turn-out from residents and commuters alike.”

“All area adults over the age of 16 are encouraged to participate in this August 25 event,” says Dr. Thomas Nero, co-director of Hands for Life. “We’re building our registration site now and will begin recruiting soon. For more information now, go to www.handsforlife.org.”

The Hands for Life® committee is led by Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia and includes Co-program directors Dr. Thomas Nero, cardiologist and Anne Fountain, Stamford Director of Public Health, Stamford EMS, Stamford Hospital, the Downtown Special Services District, and members of Stamford’s business, educational, and not-for-profit communities.  Many sponsors are on board, including Chelsea Piers, which is donating the use of their new Field House.

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