The safest place to go into a cardiac arrest in Manteca outside of a medical facility is arguably on the campuses of Manteca, Sierra, and East Union high schools when school is in session.
That’s because at the end of the current school year in June 2018, some 95 percent of all Manteca Unified School District high school students will have been taught hands only CPR needed to restart a heart that has stopped.
Hands-only CPR is taught in freshmen physical education classes every year. The 70-minute program includes a power point, lecture, videos, and hands on demonstrations.
The effort has paid off so far in one student being able to use the technique to save his father’s life when he went into cardiac arrest at home in the spring of 2015.
“It’s a skill that is invaluable for students to learn,” noted Deputy Superintendent Roger Goatcher.
The hands only CPR push was created by retired Manteca Unified Health Services Director Caroline Thibodeau working with Tevani Liotard who coordinates physical education programs, and Manteca District Ambulance General Manager Jonathan Mendoza. The district works with the Manteca, Lathrop-Manteca, and Stockton fire departments to conduct the actual programs. All students get experience performing chest compressions on a manikin. The effort is designed to empower students with the knowledge and skills to help keep someone alive until help arrives.
Paramedics, firefighters, and teachers assist students during the manikin chest portion of the presentation.
Last month Lathrop High junior Valarie Villanueva used CPR skills she learned in a Manteca Unified ROP Health Careers Class to save the life of an 11-year-old boy in a swimming pool mishap during a party in south Manteca.
The 11-year-old was not responsive when he was pulled from the water. His lips were turning blue and his skin was an ashy color. On the third set of 30 compressions, the boy coughed up water he had swallowed and regained consciousness.
Staff knowledge of CPR in December of 2014 was credited with saving the life of a student at Manteca High who collapsed in the middle of class from cardiac arrest. The student recovered due to the quick action of the Manteca High vice principal, the Manteca police school resource officer, Manteca District Ambulance emergency medical technicians, firefighters, and medical teams at St. Joseph Hospital and Stanford Hospital.
That incident sold Manteca High Principal Frank Gonzales on the importance of hands only CPR training prompting him to have all teachers trained in the technique. He also continues to have new teachers trained as well.
The next freshmen PE class hands only CPR instruction sessions are planned for Oct. 27 at Lathrop High, Nov. 9 at Manteca High, and Dec. 1 at East Union High.
Altogether, 8,172 of the district’s 24,000 students and 378 of the roughly 2,000 adult employees have been taught hands only CPR.
The CPR effort is in addition to hearing and vision screening efforts. All kindergarten, second, fourth, fifth and eighth grade students are screened for possible vision issues. The same grade levels — as well as high school sophomores — are also screened for possible hearing problems.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org