Stony Brook University CPR training event attracts 1,000 participants to help battle SCA

Cardiac Science sponsored a major CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) training event Sept. 7 at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, NY. The event, organized by Stony Brook Medicine, drew nearly 1,000 participants to the school’s LaValle Stadium.

The chance of someone surviving sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is tripled when hands-only CPR is administered quickly and effectively according to Edward Stapleton, Associate Professor and Director of Pre-hospital Education at the university’s School of Medicine. Stapleton directed the hands-only CPR event.

Students, government officials, and retirees formed rows on the college’s football field for 30-minute training sessions. Using mannequins, they practiced pushing hard and quickly to achieve the optimal rhythm for CPR. They followed instructions shown on the stadium’s large-screen monitor.

“Hands-only CPR has just two easy steps,” Stapleton said. “If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, first, call 9-1-1 and then push hard and fast in the center of the chest.”

Hands-only CPR training at Stony Book University. (Photo: Louis J. Acompora Foundation)Hands-only CPR training at Stony Book University. (Photo: Stony Brook University)

The CPR training day received support from the Suffolk County Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Services; the Stony Brook Volunteer Ambulance Corp.; the Louis J. Acompora Memorial Foundation; and Cardiac Science. Cardiac Science provided the mannequins as well as five Cardiac Science Powerheart® automated external defibrillators (AEDs) were awarded to the five largest teams at the training event. Karen Acompora, president of the Louis J. Acompora Memorial Foundation, announced the winners:

  • Camp Kasem from Stony Brook
  • Boy Scout Troop 74
  • Team Supreme  (a student group at Stony Brook that will donate the AED to a community group or school)
  • Girl Scout Troop 2456
  • Grey College at Stony Brook

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone urged residents to learn hands-only CPR and download the county’s Pulse Point mobile application on their smartphones to help improve emergency response times for residents who may experience sudden cardiac arrest. James Gaughran, Chair of the Suffolk County Water Authority, also participated in the training. He said he hopes to develop a similar program for Water Authority employees.

Steve Tannenbaum with AEDs at Stony Book, New York (Photo: Louis J. Acompora Foundation)

Sudden cardiac arrest survivor Steve Tannenbaum, 61, of Merrick, NY attended the event. In 2009 Tannenbaum suffered sudden cardiac arrest while playing softball. He says his life was saved when a nurse and a former EMT performed CPR on him until EMTs arrived with an AED. Tannenbaum required three shocks from the device.

“Surviving a cardiac arrest can be a matter of luck,” Tannenbaum told Stony Brook organizers. “We want to change that and increase survival rates exponentially.”

The weekend event drew nearly 1,000 from the school and the surrounding communities.

“I have been teaching CPR for 45 years and have never trained that many people in one day,” Stapleton told the university’s news bureau.

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