Hands-only CPR training saves another life

Posted: Friday, August 31st 2018

Another life has been saved thanks to the Hands-only CPR training students are receiving at San Diego Unified. 

A former Golden Hill K-8 student recently used Hands-only CPR, which is CPR without rescue breaths, to save the life of a young relative. The student received training last year in her physical education class at Golden Hill K-8 Dual Language Immersion School as part of the district’s efforts to train all students in grades 3-12 in Hands-only CPR. 

The student and her teacher, Robin Carby, have been honored in a brief ceremony by the American Heart Association for their efforts -- the student for using CPR; Carby for teaching it to hundreds of students.

“There are times when you see students in the community and we see them grow and how far they’ve come, and it’s times like that you really feel your job is the best job in the world,” Carby said at a recent ceremony honoring the two. “And with this, having someone tell you you’ve helped them save a life, it makes you cry. Every time.”

It’s the passionate work of Carby and others in San Diego Unified that work to make sure that as many students as possible are trained in Hands-only CPR. 

In 2016, San Diego Unified partnered with the American Heart Association and the County of San Diego to begin offering Hands-only CPR training to students in the district using a $100,000 grant from the County. 

The Hands-only CPR training is designed for students in grades 3-12. Most physical education teachers in the district have been trained, and in turn, many have trained their students. In just two years, thousands of district students have received training. 

“This would not have been possible without the effort of the entire community,” said P.E Resource Teacher Lynn Barnes-Wallace, who has helped implement the program districtwide. “We had County Supervisor Ron Roberts and the County providing funding; the American Heart Association to provide the training kits; and the San Diego Unified School District providing the training.” 

According to the American Heart Association, there are more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests annually in the U.S., nearly 90 percent of them fatal. They say that “Hands-Only CPR is an easy, effective way for any bystander, especially if they act immediately, to double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.”

In sharing the incident with Carby, the student told her that Carby’s voice was in her head the entire time saying “any CPR is better than no CPR.” 

The former Golden Hill student is the second San Diego Unified student who has used their Hands-only CPR training to save a life. In September, Green Elementary third grader Dmitri Meram helped save his mother’s life after she bumped her head and passed out.  


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