MONARCH — What did you learn in school today? It’s an old question, probably asked by parents since the first schools opened in antiquity. No doubt the parents of some students at Monarch Elementary School asked that question recently and were no doubt surprised when their children told them they’d learned how to save a life.
CPR stands for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, an emergency procedure that often combines chest compressions with artificial ventilation by either mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or mechanical ventilation in which a device is used to push air into a person’s lungs.
The goal of CPR is to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures can be taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person who is in cardiac arrest. The procedure is recommended for persons who are unresponsive and are either not breathing or breathing abnormally.
While CPR will not in itself restart a heart attack victim’s heart, its main purpose is to restore a partial flow of oxygenated blood to the brain and heart. The goal is to delay tissue death and extend the brief window of opportunity for the successful resuscitation of the victim while preventing them from suffering permanent brain damage.
In other words, being able to successfully perform CPR can not only mean the difference between whether a person lives or dies but also whether or not they survive without debilitating and irreparable injury.
The ability to do this, to save a life and save the quality of that life, is what learning to do CPR is all about, and its an ability students at Monarch Elementary learned earlier this month.
MES participated in CPR training on Thursday, March 8, with a program for students in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades. The training was done by personnel from Spartanburg Regional Medical Center who, using medical training mannequins, showed students how to perform CPR on a person needing that kind of help.
A press release issued by the school states that the students “were taught how to help someone in danger and also how to get help for someone in this condition. MES is so proud of their students!”
The school has every right to be proud of those students and so does the rest of the community because those young people, by learning how to perform CPR, have not only taken on an awesome ability to save lives, they have also take on the awesome responsibility of using that ability to save a life in need of such help. It’s a big step for a child to take, but it is a step they must take because it is a sign that they are growing up and understanding that growing up means taking on the responsibilities of a grown-up, including the responsibility to help others and doing so effectively.
So congratulations to these very special young people. May you never have to use this very special skill you have learned, but if you do, we are confident you will rise to the occasion, use it as it was meant to be used, and save a life, performing one of the greatest services one person can for another.