In recognition of CPR and AED Awareness Week, UM Upper Chesapeake Health held free Compress & Shock and Stop the Bleed trainings on June 3 at the UM Upper Chesapeake Health Brass Mill Conference Center in Belcamp.
The Compress & Shock Training is designed for the general public to learn how to help save a life during a cardiac arrest. Educators provided hands-on instruction on how to administer CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).
Participants learned how to recognize cardiac arrest and differentiate it from a heart attack. According to UMUCH, a heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked and oxygen-rich blood cannot reach a part of the heart. The heart usually does not stop beating but in some instances, it can lead to cardiac arrest.
Cardiac arrest, however, is an electrical problem with the heart. It happens when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions and the heart stops beating unexpectedly. This is when CPR and the use of an AED are needed to try to save a life.
The goal of the training was to teach participants how to keep someone alive who is in cardiac arrest until emergency medical services arrive.
“Compress & Shock Training is such an important skill for folks to have because it saves lives,” said Vickie Ensor Bands, director of community outreach and health improvement for UMUCH, who coordinated the trainings. “We hope to offer it several times a year. The more people we can have trained in both Stop the Bleed and bystander CPR/AED, the better for everyone in the community.”
Patrice Bullock, the mother of Bailey Bullock, a 16-year-old student at The John Carroll School who died in May 2021 of sudden cardiac arrest after track practice in Bel Air, shared her son’s story with the attendees.
“Losing a child is the most heart-wrenching, painful and tragic situation, one that I endure daily,” said Bullock. “Compress & Shock, which is learning how to administer CPR & how to use an AED, is a valuable tool for anyone 9 and older that can diminish the possibility of another mother enduring such tragedy. I’m part of Compress & Shock training because it equips bystanders with the ability to perform CPR & use an AED, and that saves lives.”
After Bailey’s passing, Patrice Bullock started Bailey’s Heart and Soul Foundation, which raises funds to purchase AEDs to make them more readily available at locations in Harford County.
The foundation also launched a service scholarship this year for graduating seniors who reside in the county and embody Bailey’s memorable traits of community service, athleticism and academic achievement.
The training was held in conjunction with the Compress & Shock Foundation, a nonprofit that works to bring free and equitable access to CPR and automated external defibrillator education to all communities, especially those communities most adversely affected by cardiac arrest due to race, ethnicity, language barriers or access to health care education.
The Compress & Shock Foundation reports that approximately 350,000 Americans experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting each year, and the survival rate is less than 10 percent.
Theresa G. Wiseman
P.O. Box 38
Bel Air, Maryland 21014