Medical students spread CPR training

February 10, 2019

Students from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine spent their Saturday at the 77 Flea Market in Brownsville to offer basic but potentially life-saving CPR training.

It was the first of four stops they will make around the Valley as part of the National Texas Two Step CPR campaign.

“ Basically we’re trying to teach the public how to do two-step CPR, keeping it as simple as possible so they can intervene if someone passes out and stops breathing,” Rogelio Z. Mendoza, third-year UTRGV medical student, said, “so they can help save a life.”

The hands-only method taught as part of the Texas Two Step keeps oxygenated blood flowing after a person falls unconscious until emergency medical services arrive. Step one is to call 9-1-1, and step two is to start chest compressions.

The rhythm of chest compressions should be 100-120 beats per minute, Mendoza said. Songs like “Stayin’ Alive,” huapangos and “Row Row Row Your Boat” can be used to keep the correct rhythm.

Anjalee Choudhury, a second-year medical student, said people should make sure it’s safe to help someone by administering CPR. If there is no danger in the area, get someone to call 9-1-1 and position yourself on the right side of the unconscious person’s body. Push hard and fast on the center of the chest until help arrives.

“ People want to learn. It’s just a matter of being accessible and having the opportunity,” she said. “It’s about being at the right place at the right time.”

Joshua Balladares, president of the UTRGV Pre-Med/Bio-Med Society, said CPR training is particularly important in a region like the Rio Grande Valley, which has a high rate of heart disease and obesity.

“ You’re reaching a large volume of people who don’t necessarily know how to save a life with CPR,” he said. “Most of our population is already inclined to have heart problems. Just by teaching 12 people, we might be saving dozens of lives.”

Additional Texas Two Step CPR trainings will be held:

>> Sunday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Alamo Flea Market at 1602 W. Expressway 83, Basilica of Our Lady San Juan Del Valle at 400 N. Virgen de San Juan Blvd.

>> Monday, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., UTRGV Edinburg campus Student Union, 1201 W. University Drive