New program teaches people with disabilities how to advise on use of CPR, AEDs
The American Heart Association announced the development of a program to teach individuals with physical disabilities who may not be able to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation themselves how to instruct others in an emergency.
“This program was created because we saw the need for those with disabilities to have the opportunity to participate in saving lives,” Comilla Sasson, MD, PhD, FAHA, FACEP, vice president for emergency cardiovascular care science and innovation at the AHA, said in a press release. “On the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we recognize the abilities of all to be trained in CPR and AED use and to ultimately save more lives.”
In collaboration with the National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities, the Advisor: Basic Life Support program will help individuals with disabilities pass the cognitive portion of the HeartCode BLS provider course, instructing them how to advise others to perform CPR and use an automated external defibrillator.
“Americans are living longer with more comorbidities, so now more than ever individuals need to learn CPR,” Bridgette Jenkins, DNP, MSN, RN, active AHA CPR instructor and National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities board member, said in the release. “We were thrilled to collaborate with the American Heart Association to help problem-solve this issue for people with disabilities at a time when it’s most critical to have these lifesaving skills.”