Marketing, Motherhood, and Mayhem

This warms my heart

February 14th, 2011 by Deb McLean

I am thrilled with people or organizations that come up with creative and innovative solutions to challenges.  

With the increasing importance of compression only or “hands only” CPR in many cardiac emergencies, the American Red Cross recently announced an initiative to educate 5 million people in 2011 about the use of this potentially lifesaving technique. 

The Tampa Bay Chapter of the American Red Cross accepted a challenge to train 50,000 people within the eight county of Florida’s West Coast Region.  However, the goal is to provide the training for free to make the community safer and to provide a means for every citizen to know how to save a life during a sudden cardiac arrest.

Techniques used for training include the use of CPR manikins or a spongy ambulance which would cost approximately $5 each.  While some Red Cross chapters plan on charging for the class to cover the costs, the Tampa Bay Chapter developed a creative and innovative plan to provide this half hour course at no charge.


They discovered that the use of an empty, capped 2-liter plastic soda bottle is sufficient in the use of practicing chest compressions.  They notified the Health and Safety department at the American National Red Cross offices of their discovery.  Within days, they received the following message:

“We are approving your chapter to use a 2 liter plastic bottle for practice of compressions in Citizen CPR- with the following qualifications during use:

·         you can achieve a 2 inch compression when you use a 2 liter bottle; a 1 liter works but it does not compress 2 inches

·         It should be tightly capped to achieve 2 inches

·         It should not be used for more than one session as breakage may occur (although we did test up to 600 “presses” with no breakage) It may be best to ask participants to bring a couple for practice to avoid breakage.

·         Caution should be given to participants that breakage may occur”

 Brilliant brilliant program that addresses two needs in our community.

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