Project Smart Hearts Enters High Schools

Thanks to a grant from the Medtronic Foundation, UNM’s Division of Cardiology is integrating the life-saving CPR training into the curriculum for All APS ninth grade health classes. The grant has paid for the training of school nurses and teachers as well for training materials and a set of CPR mannequins for each of the 13 APS high schools.

"We’re excited to be working with UNM on Project Smart Hearts, which will teach high school students how to save lives. What better goal could we set for students in health classes?” said APS Superintendent Winston Brooks.

High school freshmen are learninghow administer bystander CPR, which involves chest compressions only. Research shows that bystanders who perform chest-compression-only CPR instead of traditional CPR with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation save more lives, according the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Bystander CPR may be more effective because it’s easier to learn and remember than traditional CPR, which alternates between chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. In addition, people might be more willing to perform chest compression only CPR, as they may not want to do mouth to mouth resuscitation, especially on strangers.

“The information and techniques we teach through Project Smart Hearts is straight forward and easily digested in a short period of time. It can easily be taught in a class period,” said Dr. Boyer. “We did a pilot project at Manzano last year, and were impressed with how engaged and interested students were in learning CPR.”

For a glimpse at the pilot class learning Project Smart Hearts, click
Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322

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