The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

CPR saves lives; Why are classes not offered at SSU?

CPR can save lives.

It is as simple as that and yet according to the American Heart Association only 15% to 30% of people experiencing a cardiac arrest received bystander help.

When students are asked if they would be willing to help in case of a cardiac emergency the answer is no longer simple. A lot of them said they would love to, but never received training and would have no idea what to do. Some mention that they would be worried to do “more harm than good.”

According to firefighter paramedic Jason Patton, without having CPR performed before professionals arrive on scene “chances of survival are less than 10 percent.” This is explained by the fact that brain damage happens after only four minutes without oxygen and death can occur as fast as four minutes later. This information is provided by the American Heart Association when a person takes one of their courses but is mostly unknown by others.

Another reason for this lack of help is directly related to this lack of training as it involves the fear of legal risks. Paramedic Patton explained that it should not be a concern because there is a protection to whoever is trying to help called the “good samaritan law.”

This law is primarily put in place to encourage someone to step in during an emergency without having to fear legal problems in return. This is important because if, for example, a rib is broken while performing chest compression, the person who is trying to save a life would not want to get in trouble for it especially since according to all health care workers, it happens often.

Knowing how to perform CPR will make those who decided to learn CPR essential assets of the Sonoma State campus but also of their community. In fact, an app has been created to link those who know how to perform those skills with those in need. It is stated on their website that “PulsePoint Respond is a 911-connected app that can immediately inform you of emergencies occurring in your community and can request your help when CPR is needed nearby.” After talking to nearby fire agencies, as long as the program has been adopted by a local public safety agency, anybody with this app will receive an alert to provide help to someone nearby.

According to nearby public safety agencies, California is one of 10 states where CPR is not required to graduate high school. Even more surprisingly, despite the number of classes and activities offered at SSU, learning how to save life is not available for all students.

SSU offers one emergency response course (KIN 241) that is restricted to Kinesiology majors only. Offering more sections of this class and opening it to all students would allow for more SSU students to be trained in life saving first aid techniques.

As unfortunate as it is, there are options for students in Sonoma County, including Rohnert Park. American Heart Association and American Red Cross both offer classes to people who want to learn basic life support, first aid or CPR. Hands-on only CPR can save lives and it is so easy to learn that even children or teens are welcome to join those classes so why not SSU students?

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About the Contributor
Célia Aline Amaral, Student Life Editor
Celia Aline Amaral is a senior majoring in communication and media studies.
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