Apr 10, 2011 12:03 AM by Chris Welty

Thousands Now Trained in CPR

More than 1,000 people are now certified heart-starters.

The 11th annual "Be a Heart Starter By-Stander CPR Training Event" was held on Saturday, and KATC'S Chris Welty was there.

"He stopped breathing and he was diagnosed with having sleep apnea."

Jan Wyatt, says she was petrified the night her grandson almost died. She says there was only one thing she could think about. "Trying to get him to breathe again."

Thanks to proper CPR training, Wyatt was able to save her grandson's life. Now, she finds comfort in knowing that others are gaining life-saving techniques.

"Why not teach the community how to save someone's life? You may not see cardiac arrest everyday, but if you do, you would know what to do and you would know exactly how to respond and perform."

Since the heart starter classes were offered 11 years ago, Acadaiana is now a safer place to live.

"Our resuscitation rates in Acadiana were one percent ten years ago, now it's nearly twenty percent," says Dr. Chuck Wyatt.

According to Lafayette High School Basic EMT Student, Hunter Sibille, "They have a short window of opportunity, but it should be advised to immediately start CPR as soon as the patient collapses or goes down."

Instructors say it's important to keep up with the changes in the CPR techniques. Recently, the American Heart Association has implemented the hands only strategy.

"You do it a bit faster, you do it a bit deeper, and that way then people who are afraid of the mouth to mouth they will do the compression part of it."

The yearly classes are free, so everyone can learn how to save a life.

"Life is the greatest gift that we have today," says Sibille.



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