College students, medical students, residents, fellows, and physicians all joined forces to train more than 4,250 Texans in hands-only CPR on Feb. 6, 2016. The Texas Two Step CPR: How to Save a Life Campaign was a free statewide event held in Amarillo, Austin, College Station, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Galveston, Houston, Lubbock, and San Antonio. Participants were taught how to save a life by taking two steps: 1) call 911; 2) begin hands-only CPR by pushing hard and fast on the center of the chest.
This educational effort is important because heart disease is the top cause of death among Texans, with four out of five cardiac arrests occurring at home. CPR saves lives, but most people are unprepared to help when a loved one, friend, or colleague needs CPR. The collaboration of the Texas College of Emergency Physicians, Texas Medical Association, ACEP, HealthCorps, and MaveRx recognized the need to train more Texans in lifesaving hands-only CPR.
More than 650 medical students representing all nine Texas medical schools taught the Texas Two Step at 49 sites within the 10 cities.
Here are just a few comments from health care professionals who participated in the Texas Two Step event.
I wanted to share a quick story from Saturday about a gentleman at the mall who was so thankful we were out teaching people CPR. … He explained to me that his father suffered a MI at home and passed away and that no one at his house knew what to do in the situation. He said they called the doctors instead of 911 and didn’t even think about CPR because “hands-only” wasn’t around back then. I’m so glad I got to be a part of this whole process the past six months and can’t wait to make it even bigger next year!—Tony Balda, MS, UNT Health Science Center
I really enjoyed helping out at the Texas Two Step and being able to teach CPR to such an enthusiastic group of people [at the Health Museum]. Such an easy-to-perform intervention has a huge impact on patient outcome/survival, and many more people now have ability to step in and perform lifesaving CPR!—Erin Aufderheide, MD, emergency medicine resident, Baylor College of Medicine
I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Texas Two Step event and oversee CPR training. This was an amazing event to educate our community. I feel confident that anyone trained could help a bystander in need in the future. … They could save a life!—Jessica Best, MD, international emergency medicine fellow, Houston
The Two Step was a great event in that it brought together all parts of the medical field—from office staff to attendings, RNs to paramedics, med students to firefighters—as teachers to empower our community to save lives with hands-only CPR. Just think how many out-of-hospital arrests will survive if we can continue to teach our communities this basic skill. I’m so proud of our TCEP medical students for creating this amazing event!—Doug Jeffrey, MD, FACEP, Austin
This community project helped us live leadership at every level. It is so nice to see the future leaders in the house of medicine engaged, helping save lives in their communities.—Angela Siler Fisher, MD
ACEP hopes that this is the start of a new Texas tradition and looks forward to collaborative volunteer projects in the future.