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Archdiocese stresses importance of CPR training

February 23, 2017
Catholic San Francisco

The Archdiocese of San Francisco recently trained a number of employees at the Pastoral Center in San Francisco in cardiopulmonary, stressing the value for all in the Catholic community of becoming certified in the life-saving technique.

“It is important to have this certification that could help in our parishes, schools and homes,” said Derek Gaskin, director of director of safety and security for the archdiocese. “First aid can be invaluable when someone is in serious medical distress. The techniques that are learned can be helpful to someone’s life who may suffer from a heart attack, a near-drowning accident or any number of other emergency situations.”

Gaskin said CPR is not a method of restarting the heart, as is commonly believed by many people. Rather, CPR is used to return the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body to delay tissue death and brain damage.

“In the case of an emergency – known as a Code Blue, everyone should know to call 911 in an emergency, but when it comes to cardiac arrest, minutes count,” Gaskin said. “Starting chest compressions as you wait for an ambulance can not only save a life, but it can prevent lasting brain injury from occurring due to a lack of oxygenated blood flow to the brain.”

He said it can take as little as six minutes for the brain to die when it is not being supplied by oxygenated blood.

“Once again,” Gaskin said, “administering CPR can prevent serious brain injury.”

He said the archdiocese is encouraging parishioners, teachers and staff members to seek and complete CPR – First Aid training.

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