Hands-Only CPR challenge draws hundreds of Greenwich Hospital employees

The Bee Gees 1980s classic “Stayin’ Alive” provided the perfect backdrop on Thursday as more than 200 non-clinical employees took part in a hands-only CPR challenge posed by Greenwich Hospital President Diane Kelly, DNP, RN.

Lisa Pride, a hospital transporter, gets into a rhythm as she practices hands-only CPR to the beat of Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees. contributed photo

As part of American Heart Month, Kelly challenged staff to learn hands-only CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), the emergency lifesaving procedure that is performed when the heart stops beating. “As a nurse, I have seen firsthand the importance of CPR training for the public. Time is crucial. We can all play a part in saving a life,” she said. “Seventy percent of cardiac arrests happen in the home. Hands-only CPR can double the chance of survival.”

“The response from employees has been phenomenal,” said Kathy Carley-Spanier, RN, director of Community Health at Greenwich Hospital, who worked with the hospital’s Education Department to coordinate the CPR training in the Noble Conference Center. Employees from all corners of the hospital participated, including Human Resources, Environmental Services, Laboratory, Food and Nutrition Services, Information Technology, Pharmacy and more.

Diana Lieblong, Human Resources manager, practices the hands-only technique with (right) Barbara Amen, RN, a critical care nurse and certified CPR instructor. contributed photo

It all began when the American Heart Association (AHA) challenged every household or family to have at least one person who knows CPR. Yale New Haven Health took AHA’s challenge one step further asking the presidents of its five hospitals to learn CPR and challenge three other individuals to do the same. Patrick Green, president and CEO of Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London and Westerly Hospital, challenged Kelly.

Kelly decided to not just challenge three other people but challenge all non-clinical staff.

There are two commonly known versions of CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Healthcare providers use conventional CPR with chest compressions and rescue breathing. The public can use Hands-Only CPR, which involves compressions without mouth-to-mouth breaths. When seconds matter most, CPR can mean the difference between life and death.