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Sports medicine specialist wants CPR added to tertiary curriculum

Friday, July 05, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Sports Medicine Specialist at the Heart Foundation of Jamaica, Dr Paul Wright, is calling for training in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to be added to the curriculum of students in tertiary institutions, particularly teachers' colleges and at the GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sport.

Wright said that people in teachers' colleges will eventually become teachers and that the training should begin at that stage.

“We may even expand it into schools as part of the programme, to get people learning what to do if you see somebody collapses and become unresponsive,” he said.

According to Wright, when students of these institutions graduate and become teachers or coaches, they are among the main people who will impact the lives of student athletes.

Wright said it is imperative for persons who will be spending a considerable amount of time with student athletes to understand the importance of CPR and chest compressions, in particular, to saving a life. He added that they will also be able to transfer the knowledge of CPR to their charges.

Wright was speaking against the background of the susceptibility of student athletes to sudden cardiac arrest and the need for proper measures to be put in place to mitigate the effects.

“Once you train these students, they are going out into communities and into schools. People look up to teachers in communities, especially rural communities. They can also teach the young people CPR to enable them to help others if necessary,” he said.

He pointed out that the cases of sudden cardiac arrest that come to the emergency room are usually similar.

“Many times the story is the same, they rush in and say that when the person collapsed they called someone. We need persons to be responsive, do something, start something, because even on the way to the hospital, you can save a life,” Dr Wright said, adding that it is less likely for someone who comes to the emergency room with a pulse to die in the emergency room.

The Heart Foundation is encouraging more Jamaicans to learn CPR, which is a life-saving medical procedure that is given to someone who is in cardiac arrest.

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