Stayin’ alive

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Students at the MFL MarMac McGregor Center learned about hands-only CPR last week. Here, teacher Eric Dettbarn helps his students as they practice. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

In order to help students gauge how quickly they need to give compressions, school nurse Jennelle Schroeder picked out some songs that have 100 to 120 beats per minute. They included disco favorite “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, as well as a contemporary favorite, “Uptown Funk.”

Jill Miller, a nurse at Central Community Hospital in Elkader, noted that giving hands-only CPR can be physically taxing, but it’s worth it if it helps save someone’s life. “You get tired and sweaty, but it’s rewarding," she said.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Students at the MFL MarMac McGregor Center learned about hands-only CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) last week, with the help of Jill Miller, a nurse at Central Community Hospital in Elkader. 

CPR is necessary when a person is having sudden cardiac arrest, Miller told students. CPR helps send oxygen through the body’s bloodstream, keeping organs alive.  

Miller explained how hands-only CPR is administered, noting that breathing into a person’s mouth is not necessary.

“It’s not an oxygen problem, but a heart problem,” she said. “They already have enough oxygen. This gets the oxygen to them.”

Hands-only CPR gives people the best chance of surviving, she said. In fact, when started early, it can double a person’s chance of survival.

Miller said CPR is administered when a person, using their upper body weight, with their hands positioned at the center of the chest, compresses the victim’s chest two inches at a rate of at least 100 times per minute. In order to help students gauge how quickly they need to give compressions, school nurse Jennelle Schroeder picked out some songs that have 100 to 120 beats per minute. They included disco favorite “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, as well as a contemporary favorite, “Uptown Funk.”

“Your hands will go to that beat on the chest,” Schroeder told students as they prepared to practice hands-only CPR on some dummies.

It’s an important skill for students to have, added Schroeder.

“We feel it’s important for you to know how to help someone,” she said. 

Miller noted that giving hands-only CPR can be physically taxing, but it’s worth it if it helps save someone’s life.

“You get tired and sweaty, but it’s rewarding," she said.

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