Bringing a baby home from the hospital can be overwhelming, but it can be especially so for parents of critically ill infants. Thanks to the American Heart Association, beginning June 14, the families of infants admitted to Woman’s Hospital’s Newborn and Infant Intensive Care Unit (NICU) will receive a CPR training kit to practice their skills at home. The American Heart Association has funded 1,300 Infant CPR Anytime Kits® valued at more than $50,000 for babies and their families who are served by Woman’s NICU annually.
“On behalf of the families we serve, Woman’s Hospital is grateful to the American Heart Association for this lifesaving donation,” said Stephanie Anderson, Woman’s Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer. “Combined with the education that NICU parents receive while in our care, these kits will save lives in our community.”
Infants requiring intensive care often have conditions that increase the risk of cardiorespiratory arrest after discharge. According to the National Institute of Health, preterm infants have more than twice as many cardiovascular malformations than infants born at term. And, 1 in 6 infants with cardiovascular malformations is born preterm. A premature infant may also have difficulty breathing due to an underdeveloped respiratory system that prevents the lungs from fully expanding and contracting.
For every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, the chances of survival decrease by 7 to 10%. Although Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are quick to respond, the average response time can be approximately 5-10 minutes. If CPR is started before EMS arrives, the outcome is greatly improved. The Infant CPR Anytime Kits® contain a manikin and DVD to teach families how to perform CPR and relieve a choking infant.
“We are excited to be able to give back to the community with such a targeted focus,” said Coletta Barrett, American Heart Association-Capital Area Board of Directors Member. “Our community needs more people equipped with this lifesaving skill, and a donation of this size will truly make a needed impact.”