Contact: Brandy Popp
(New Bern, NC) – With support from the Harold H. Bate Foundation, the American Heart Association (AHA) will provide 537 Infant CPR kits to CarolinaEast Medical Center to be distributed to parents of newborns in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. The AHA stepped in to help when CarolinaEast, with the only Labor and Delivery department in the tri-county region, had to cancel all CPR courses due to COVID-19.
The AHA Infant CPR kits are being given to parents of newborns intending to deliver at CarolinaEast Medical Center, particularly those with high-risk babies, to ensure they are able to return home with the confidence to handle any emergency that may arise. The kits will also be used in the hospital’s Safe Sitter program to instruct teenagers charged with caring for siblings or the children of others.
“We are truly thankful for the American Heart Association’s help that will allow us to empower and educate all of our expecting families,” said Glenna Crawford, CarolinaEast Training Center Coordinator. “There are many benefits of the donation of these kits, especially at this time. We are able to teach and reach populations that may otherwise not have access to the needed education to potentially save their infant’s life.”
Infant CPR kits teach the core skills of infant CPR and choking relief in as little as 20 minutes. Choking is the number one cause of unintentional death in infants and heart disease is ranked as the leading cause of death in the region. The take-home Infant CPR kit and materials can be shared with others, such as extended family members or anyone caring for an infant, to broaden the reach of training in the community.
The donation is in keeping with the association’s goal to improve the health of Eastern North Carolina residents, especially those that reside in rural communities and may lack access to lifesaving services.
“We quickly pivoted our CPR strategy to ensure CarolinaEast has enough Infant CPR kits to hand out to every new parent during the pandemic and beyond,” said Rachel Urban, American Heart Association Regional Vice President. “This could be the only chance parents will have to receive CPR training for their infant at this time. We are grateful for the support of the Bate Foundation and to CarolinaEast for this opportunity to ensure new parents get the resources they need.”
Given right away, CPR can double or triple the chance of survival. Seventy percent of cardiac arrests happen outside the hospital, the majority in homes or the workplace. Increasing the number of community members trained in CPR could be the difference of life or death.
The CarolinaEast AHA Training Center offers designated “curbside” pick up of Infant CPR Kits for new parents who have been served through the Women’s and Children’s Pavilion at CarolinaEast Medical Center. Prior to picking up their kit, parents are given an overview of the program and what to expect after viewing the training materials and practicing the skills.
For more information about American Heart Association CPR kits or Hands-Only CPR visit heart.org/cpr.