Guadalupe Centers receives CPR kit, CPR training for youth sports





“We shouldn’t be afraid ... to help others”





Marcus Murguia, said this CPR class goes a long way. "We shouldn’t be afraid to be a good Samaritan and help out others.”





DeEtta Lee (right), communications director for the association, said rendering aid in the form of CPR is simple, and the steps are easy to remember.



BY JOE ARCE AND COREY CRABLE


The Guadalupe Centers has long been known to change lives, but now, it just might save lives, too.


The institution has been gifted a Youth in Sports CPR kit from the American Heart Association as part of the association’s “Heroes Salvando Corazones” campaign for Hispanic Heritage Month. On Sept. 12, representatives from the association presented the kit to Guadalupe Centers staff, as well a brief training on how to use CPR to potentially save lives, both on and off the field.


According to a press release from the American Heart Association, Latinos are at a higher risk for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest due to a limited access to quality education and health care. The presentation of the CPR kit and the CPR training are the first steps to closing that gap, according to Laura Lopez of the American Heart Association.


“We want to make sure the Guadalupe Centers’ coaches are trained to save lives and are able to do so,” Lopez said. “We know that if someone collapses, we want to make sure the people around them can check to see if the person is breathing, and if not, to do CPR. People don’t have to be trained professionally to perform CPR. Many people are afraid to go into action when they see someone collapse, but time is of the essence when someone collapses.”


Lopez added that adults are less likely to assist someone who requires CPR because they are afraid they might further injure the victim in their attempts to assist. Children, however, are more likely to step up and help if they have been trained in using CPR.


“Many times, people around (the victim) don’t know CPR, but we know that if youth are trained in something, they will spring to action quickly,” Lopez said.


DeEtta Lee, communications director for the association, said rendering aid in the form of CPR is simple, and the steps are easy to remember: If you observe someone having difficulty breathing, ask if they’re OK, call 911, and then push hard and fast in the center of his or her chest.


“When you do compressions, use the heel of your hand, interlock your fingers, put them in the middle of (the victim’s) chest, and push down hard and fast to the tune of the song ‘Staying Alive’ or ‘Baby Shark,’” Lee told the crowd that had gathered for the CPR training. “You’re going to do that until medical professionals have arrived. In bigger groups, you’ll want to switch off, because doing CPR can be exhausting.”


Lopez said that adults can give CPR to one another, and children as well. Children, she added, can even give CPR to adults. No matter who is in trouble, even if you haven’t been formally trained in administering CPR, you shouldn’t be afraid to help, Lopez said.


“A lot of it is practice. Once you start pushing hard and fast, it’s easy,” she said. “Some CPR is better than no CPR at all. Even if someone isn’t doing it perfectly, you’re still giving someone a chance at life.”


Those in attendance said they appreciated the kit and the training.


“I will definitely be one to jump in now,” said Michael Gomez, a coach for Guadalupe Centers. “If something’s going to happen, I’ve got to be the one to take care of it. If I can save a life, that would be great. I hope I don’t go through this in real life, but if I do, I’m prepared now.”


Molly Manske of the Mattie Rhodes Center echoed Gomez’s sentiments.


“It’s definitely something I’m not comfort with, but it’s something I need to get comfortable with,” she said. “It’s intimidating, especially when you think about doing CPR to kids.”


And Marcus Murguia, another participant, said the training and the CPR kit will surely come in handy eventually.


“This goes a long way,” he said. “We shouldn’t be afraid to be a good Samaritan and help out others.”


For more information about CPR and other life-saving techniques, visit the American Heart Association at www.heart.org.