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ColumbiaDoctors Unveils Hands-Only CPR and AED Program

ColumbiaDoctors NEWSROOM
October 24, 2018

The FPO launched a new Patient Safety initiative that will teach hands-only CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) awareness, called ColumbiaDoctors Resuscitation Education AED and CPR Training (CD-REACT). Hands-only CPR has been shown to be as effective as conventional CPR (chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breaths) in saving organs and lives, and providing hands-only intervention immediately following a cardiac arrest can make the difference between life and death. 
 
To ensure that Columbia staff and the larger community are trained to provide this life-saving intervention, the CD-REACT program will be rolled out in phases to three groups:
 
Phase 1: Care team members (clinical and non-clinical)
Phase 2: Patients and families
Phase 3: Community 
 
In all three phases, the class will last less than 30 minutes, and the REACT team will travel from site to site to provide training. 
 
The goal of Phase 1 is to train 80 percent of patient care team members in hands-only CPR and AED use, according to Sachin Agarwal, MD, MPH, assistant professor of neurology, who is heading the REACT initiative.
 
“Ambulatory sites affiliated with ColumbiaDoctors receive more than a million patients per year. In the last few years, there have been several instances when patients who developed cardiac arrest required CPR and AED administration to ensure survival and good neurological recovery,” he said. “Staff and health care providers are often called upon to assume the role of the first responders and maintain blood flow to the brain via immediate CPR and AED administration.”
 
Because about 70 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the home, CD-REACT will provide training to ColumbiaDoctors patients, families, and community members in Phases 2 and 3.   
 
In addition to providing basic competency in hands-only CPR and AED use, CD-REACT training is designed to overcome myths and concerns that can prevent individuals from intervening, such as the belief that mouth-to-mouth breathing is required, concern about the complexity of an AED, and fear that an AED may cause further injury to the patient.
 
CD-REACT is being offered in partnership with the with American Heart Association (AHA), which is providing resources and equipment, including CPR Anytime Kits, each of which is equipped with a DVD, a book, and an individual practice mannequin. Materials are available in English and Spanish. 
 
The AHA has also shared costs of the initial supplies as well as maintenance of the CPR training certification. “They have also generously offered to provide train-the-trainer education for anyone involved in the program, financial support for larger CPR Anytime Kits to organize March patient safety week events, and to help us make all of our ColumbiaDoctors ambulatory sites ‘Heart Safe’ buildings,” Agarwal said. 
 
The CD-REACT initiative has a research component aimed at studying the barriers to CPR and assessing which personality types best learn and perform CPR. Dr. Agarwal’s team has built collaborations with researchers and resuscitation experts from other academic centers, and created a survey to assess the concerns providers and staff have about performing CPR at their practice site. 
 
“Faculty and staff at ColumbiaDoctors provide outstanding care to our patients and patient safety is a top priority,” said Dr. Agarwal. “To be true advocates for patient safety, we believe it is a moral obligation to train our faculty and staff in providing immediate, critical care to patients developing cardiac arrest.”
 
To schedule classes, contact Tameen Jaara at tj2359@cumc.columbia.edu. 
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