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The 863 Magazine

Staying

Alive

By Elizabeth Morrisey

Citizen CPR in Lakeland is on a mission to make sure as many people as possible are trained and certified in the life saving technique.

W

hen Vanessa Clayton’s fourweek-old grandson started turning blue, she knew that cardiopulmonary resuscitation, commonly known as CPR, had to be administered — and fast. She tried to start CPR and soon a neighbor took over until paramedics arrived. “CPR saved him,” says Clayton, adding that the baby has Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves. “He was blue and limp as spaghetti. The hardest thing is to perform CPR on

a loved one.” Clayton is grateful to her neighbor who helped get the baby’s color back before the ambulance arrived. Clayton had CPR training through her job and feels it should be a requirement for everyone. “If you do something, a life can be saved.” Her grandson, Jeremiah, is now four months old and doing fine. CPR can also help cardiac arrest victims. More than 70 percent of cardiac incidents happen at or near the home, says Cauney Bamberg, interim director of Citizen CPR (CCPR), a local non-profit training organization. “We want the survival rate up to at least 40 percent and the only way to

do that is with bystander training.” Sixty-seven percent of CPR is started by a bystander, Bamberg says. When there’s a time gap before first responders arrive, someone who is trained can help the victim’s survival rate. “The more we can have trained can make a tremendous difference for the individual,” she says. Last year, Citizen CPR trained or retrained 7,000 people in Polk County. CCPR has about 200 instructors and many are active nurses, paramedics and firefighters. As a Winter Haven firefighter, Roy Leath

Performing CPR on an infant is vastly different than the technique used when performing it on an adult. Citizen CPR of Lakeland holds ongoing classes on both techniques in various locations throughout the county. Depositphotos.com/Rawpixel

The 863 Magazine - July & August 2017  

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