DMU students teach the Texas Two Step – CPR, that is

Thanks to a group of DMU students, more than 80 people are newly trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG) organized the training session, which took place Feb. 9 at the Science Center of Iowa, in conjunction with National Texas Two CPR, an annual event designed to engage and educate the public on the benefits of the compressions-only/hands-only procedure.

As the name implies, Texas Two Step CPR consists of two steps – call 911 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest until help arrives.

“The national organization reached out to us to hold the event. They partner with medical schools each February to teach this simple two-step method to the community,” says Kirby Lundy, a second-year student in DMU’s osteopathic medical program who was recently elected EMIG president for next academic year. “We want to help make people feel more comfortable doing it.”

Lundy noted that approximately 80 percent of cardiac arrests happen at home, so it’s important that more people know how to perform CPR.

“You’re the first line of defense until the ambulance arrives,” he says. “That’s a really critical period in the person’s survival.”

Fourth-year osteopathic medical student Samantha Lord, previous EMIG president, contacted the Science Center of Iowa about having the training session there. It turned out that Feb. 9 also was the center’s Girls in Science Festival, so an even bigger crowd than usual was present.

“We had 83 people participate in the training. They were mostly kids, so we tried to make it age-appropriate and fun,” Lundy says. Using chest mannequins with lights that display the success of the CPR administered, the DMU students asked the kids what they knew about the heart and whether they knew what “CPR” stands for.

“Some of the kids were too small to push hard enough on the mannequins, but at least they now know to call 911,” he says.