Act 7 of 2019 has just taken effect, requiring the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to develop and provide curriculum for hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to schools, now part of required high school instruction. Class-after-class of graduating young adults will be released into the world, empowered and trained to take action if they encounter an adult who has succumb to sudden cardiac arrest, potentially doubling or even tripling survival rates.
Larissa Bedrick, communications director for the American Heart Association, and Steve Poffenberger, director of quality and staff development for Geisinger EMS join the podcast to discuss the science behind no-breath, hands-only CPR, traditional CPR training and certification, and how this new no-breath method fits into life-saving tactics.
Skip to: 01:03 What does cardiac arrest vs heart attack mean?
Skip to: 02:25 How many people are estimated to suffer from a sudden cardiac arrest each year?

We estimate about 350,000 people will suffer from a sudden cardiac arrest each year outside of the hospital.

Skip to: 03:05 Out of that number, how many deaths result?

If bystanders perform CPR, the survival rate can double or even triple.

Skip to: 04:40 Explain the effectiveness of the hands-only method

The hands-only CPR component is strictly designed for adults.

Skip to: 06:43 With respect to Act 7, why is it important to get this curriculum into high schools?

“It certainly empowers these young adults.

Skip to: 08:33 What is this training going to include?
Skip to: 15:39 Describe the critical nature of the timing of CPR
Skip to: 18:23 Describe the process of Act 7. When will the training begin in the schools?
Skip to: 19:22 Who will be providing the training in the schools with the students?

Larissa Bedrick, Communications Director, American Heart Association

Larissa joined the American Heart Association as communications director in June 2012. She is based in Harrisburg, Pa. and covers the Central PA, Lehigh Valley and Northeast PA regions. Larissa previously served as a public relations officer for the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Department of State, as well as served as the constituent services director for the Office of the Governor. She is also the immediate past president of the Pennsylvania Public Relations Society. Larissa is a summa cum laude graduate of Temple University with a bachelor’s degree in Film and Media Arts and a minor in political science, and is the proud daughter of a retired teacher.

Steve Poffenberger, Director of Quality/Staff Development, Geisinger EMS

Steve Poffenberger currently serves as the director of quality/staff development at Geisinger EMS (Geisinger Holy Spirit). He has been with the agency since October 1985 and has been an EMS provider for 43 years. He has acted as a paramedic program coordinator for HACC for the past 30 years. Steve volunteers for the American Heart Association on the PA Policy Advocacy Committee. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from The Pennsylvania State University and currently lives in Dauphin, PA with his wife, Kathy.