AHA Has Been Pushing Lifesaving CPR Training Since the 1960s

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Anne, cold and motionless, lay supine on the floor of Carol Winig’s class at Palm Beach Gardens High School. Senior Sophie Gross stared into her blank eyes, shook her and shouted.

“Hey, are you OK? Are you OK?”

No reply.

Gross began chest compressions as another student ran to inform the front office that a student was down.

With each compression, Anne’s chest would click and Gross’ voice would pierce the quiet classroom like a metronome.

“One, two, three, four …”

No response.

Anne, whose full name, Mini Anne, is trademarked by the Norwegian medical company that manufactured her, would remain cold and motionless — but the effort was not in vain. Winig, a registered nurse, teaches regular classes at the high school to instruct students, teachers and anyone else who can spare 15 minutes, in CPR.

On this particular day recently, Winig and 27 senior students in the pre-med magnet program she runs taught 33 freshmen and sophomores hands-only CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator.

Classes such as this have helped teach millions of Americans important lifesaving techniques, thanks in large part to the support and guidance of the American Heart Association. Since the 1960s, the association has helped codify, simply and expand CPR training. Its latest push is to make CPR training a graduation requirement for high school students.

The goal, according to Winig, is “to teach as many students as we possibly can.”

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