BROOKLYN Karen Fratto was racing to the lobby of the Senior Center to assist an elderly woman in distress. As she ran, Brooklyn¹s Coordinator of Senior Services fearfully wondered if she would know what to do when she reached the woman’s side.
“All I could think about was that I would have to use the AED – and I wouldn’t know what to do,” said Fratto, who – along with more than 450 other municipal employees and leaders in nine cities – was recently trained in CPR and AED use by University Hospitals Parma Medical Center. “It was scary. In those minutes of that emergency, it would have been nice to be more prepared.”
UH Parma Medical Center President Nancy M. Tinsley presented the CPR Challenge to communities in its service area. The hospital’s six founding communities – Parma, Parma Hts., Brooklyn, Brooklyn Hts., North Royalton and Seven Hills – as well as Independence, Broadview Hts. and Newburgh Heights extended this opportunity to their employees.
To reinforce its mission in Building Lifesaving Communities, grant money was awarded to each municipality based on the number of city officials and employees trained and certified in CPR through the first half of the year. UH Parma Medical Center distributed more than $35,000 to cities that participated.
The American Heart Association reports that people who suffer cardiac arrest are up to three times more likely to survive if they receive CPR from a bystander. Yet fewer than half of cardiac arrest victims receive the CPR that could greatly improve their chances of survival until EMS arrives and the person is transported to the hospital. Since 88 percent of cardiac arrests occur at home, many people are unprepared to face such a crisis with a family member or friend.
“While we hope that none of them ever have to actually use this valuable skill, I am so pleased that our employees stepped up to learn this life-saving technique and can employ it if necessary,” Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter said. “Whether they are with their families, or in the workplace or in a public place of business, no one ever knows when CPR might be called for. It’s nice to know that, thanks to UH Parma Medical Center’s CPR Challenge, there are more employees than ever trained to take action if need be.”
The elderly woman in Brooklyn was experiencing a mini-stroke. Following that stressful incident, Fratto contacted the Fire Department for training on the AED. Less than a month later, the UH EMS Training and Disaster Preparedness Institute provided CPR and AED training to 48 Brooklyn employees.
“This is an important life-saving technique that our employees can be confident of implementing during an emergency,” said Brooklyn Mayor Katherine A. Gallagher.
About University Hospitals Parma Medical Center
For more than 50 years, UH Parma Medical Center has served the southwestern suburbs of Cleveland. UH Parma Medical Center provides acute and sub-acute care, with 332 beds and specialty centers for stroke, cardiac, cancer, orthopedics, pain management, acute rehabilitation and bariatric care. As a part of the University Hospitals health system, UH Parma Medical Center gives patients access to the nationally recognized UH Case Medical Center, a leading academic medical center, as well as the specialized care of the UH Seidman Cancer Center, UH Neurological Institute and UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute. For more information, go to www.UHParma.org.