Darren Marcy: Improve the odds of survival with a CPR course

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A news release crossed my desk this past week with a statistic that stopped me in my tracks.

The release revealed that, according to the American Heart Association, about 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, die.

Ninety.

Dead.

I don't know why, but I thought the number was going to be something like 40 percent to 50 percent.

I'm always hearing stories about someone who had a heart attack and is getting a stent put in, or is changing diet and getting more exercise to try to prevent "the big one."

From the sounds of this statistic, I've been exposed to people in the 10 percent and it makes sense considering the others are not around to tell their stories.

Sorry, gallows humor. It's a technique journalists use to combat the rather constant drumbeat of bad news we face.

But, let's put a positive spin on this (and help me to get to the point you'd never thought I'd get around to).

The point of the news release was to announce that a cardiopulmonary resuscitation class will be held at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 29 in Londonderry at Neighborhood Connections.

Make your reservation by calling 802-824-4343.

According to the statistics, If you go into cardiac arrest, immediate CPR may determine whether you'll be one of the 10 percent who later tells stories about your new exercise regimen. Or not.

We had a perfect example of that in the Journal's Dec. 28 edition.

That story, by correspondent Emma Reynolds, told the story of Nikki Dexter, the assistant director at the Manchester Parks and Rec department.

Dexter was there when a man went into cardiac arrest playing pickleball and, thanks to her training, was able to keep the man going until the ambulance could arrive to get him to a helicopter that took him to the high-level of care he needed.

Dexter saved a life.

While others jumped in to help, they hadn't been trained. Had Dexter not been on the scene with her training, that situation may not have turned out as it did.

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According to the American Heart Association, "immediate CPR can double or triple chances of survival after cardiac arrest."

Access to an automated external defibrillator, more commonly known as an AED, is even better. But while the machines are found in more and more public spaces, they're still few and far between.

If you haven't brushed up on your CPR skills in a while, maybe it's time to take a refresher course.

Neighborhood Connections in Londonderry can help you with that.

I jumped on Google and came up with several options right away.

The Northshire Rescue Squad and the Londonderry Volunteer Rescue both are listed as options. The American Red Cross also offers online courses.

Other options likely exist.

A young journalist

It seems we may have a young journalist working his way through fourth grade at Manchester Elementary and Middle School.

Some time ago, Mason Roy submitted a couple of pieces to the Journal. One was a short letter to the editor informing us about an issue at Dana L. Thompson Memorial Park, or as it's also known, The Rec.

Roy also submitted a short report on the issue to explain it a little better.

Never one pass up an opportunity to get a free article from child labor, I sent a note back to his teacher, Susi Garvin at MEMS, asking her if Roy would be interested in combining the letter and the report into a short article?

I also got in touch with Manchester Town Manager John O'Keefe to verify what our young journalist was reporting.

He added some details and I forwarded this information to Garvin. Roy got to work wordsmithing his article. It was supposed to run in a previous edition, but, the piece was cut when there was a space crunch on deadline.

It happens to the best of us, Mason. Sorry buddy.

So, this week we introduce our newest reporter, Mason Roy.

I hope a bigger paper doesn't steal him. Good reporters are hard to find.

Darren Marcy is the editor of the Manchester Journal. He can be reached by email at dmarcy@manchesterjournal.com or by cell at 802-681-6534.


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