METUCHEN, NJ - A crisis can occur at any moment, and precarious situations exist all around us. One emergency that can happen to anyone without warning is going into cardiac arrest, an unforeseen loss of consciousness and heart function.

A group of eleven students at Saint Joseph High School trained under the instruction of Christopher Martin on for two days in November to become certified in giving  CPR to both adults and adolescents by practicing on CPR mannequins.

“This opportunity allows students to gain awareness of the multitude of dangers and challenges to the health that can arise at any moment,” said Matthew Vergel ‘19, the program organizer.  "With new, certified skills, we will be able to play a crucial role in saving others' lives while helping to improve our own. It also allows us to pass on knowledge to others to eventually allow the community to be safer.”

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When a person goes into cardiac arrest, giving CPR to that person provides critical aid while waiting for emergency services that can ultimately end up saving someone’s life.

If someone around you has gone into cardiac arrest, first check the surroundings to make sure it’s safe. Next, tap and shake the person in case he or she is still conscious. Check for breathing and a pulse. Call 911 and send someone to retrieve an AED. If there is no pulse or breathing, begin CPR.

To do this, place the person on his or her back on a firm surface. Place one hand over the other in the center of the chest between the nipples. Start compressions going at least two inches deep but no more that 2.4 inches. Push hard in intervals of 30 followed by two breaths by mouth, and repeat. When the AED arrives, have a second person take over compressions and breaths while you follow the instructions on the AED to start the machine. Continue the use of compressions, breaths, and the AED until the victim shows signs of movement or until official medical help arrives.

During situations like this communication, skill, and remaining calm are critical as one innocent bystander can be the difference between life and death for someone else.

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Editor's Note: This submission is courtesy of  the  Saint Joseph High School Student News which is solely responsible for this content.  

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