Young and Old Learn How to Save a Life

By UM News

Young and Old Learn How to Save a Life

By UM News
UM hosted CPR Day on September 6, providing free instruction to people on the lifesaving technique.

Some were adults, young and old. Others were children still in elementary school. But whatever the age group, the scores of people who showed up at the University of Miami’s BankUnited Center Fieldhouse all had one goal in common: They wanted to learn how to save a life.

UM was one of seven South Florida venues that hosted CPR Day on Saturday, providing free training to people 11 and older on the lifesaving technique that is useful in many emergencies, such as a heart attack and near drowning, in which someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped.

Participants first gathered in the Hurricane 100 Room to watch a 10-minute video on the importance of CPR and how the technique is performed, then headed to the Fieldhouse, where, using mannequins provided by the Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education and following the instruction of UM School of Nursing and Health Studies students, they practiced the proper way to perform chest compressions—the essential means for providing blood flow during CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

The need for more people to learn CPR is paramount, as about 70 percent of Americans lack the knowledge to perform the procedure. It was a message emphasized by Pamela Rauseo, who last February performed CPR on her 5-month-old nephew, Sebastian de la Cruz, after the infant stopped breathing in the backseat of her car on a busy Miami expressway. Rauseo saved his life.

“Today is an initiative that we are taking to communicate to the public the importance and the impact that an hour of training can have on a loved one,” said Rauseo, who attended the training session at UM. “Take the time, even if it’s not today at this event that is being hosted for the community; just take a moment because you never know when you are going to need CPR.”

UM, Jackson Health System, and Miami-Dade County Public Schools, in collaboration with the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association, hosted the event. Among those in attendance: UM President Donna E. Shalala; Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools; Carlos Migoya, president and CEO of Jackson Health System; and UM mascot Sebastian the Ibis.