CPR Ready initiative brings free Hands-Only CPR and AED Training to local universities

CPR Ready at Temple

Students and faculty at Temple University get CPR Ready with virtual reality training.

Independence Blue Cross (Independence), in partnership with Penn Medicine’s Mobile CPR Project, hosted a series of college campus events to provide free cardiac arrest education and Hands-Only CPR training to students and faculty at La Salle University, St. Joseph’s University, and Temple University. The events were a part of a larger CPR Ready campaign which takes a grass roots approach to empowering community members with the knowledge and training they need to save lives. The universities also participated in a fun educational video featuring their mascots and the Phillie Phanatic.

While traditional mannequin training was used at each of the events, students at Temple University used virtual reality and a mobile application developed by the University of Pennsylvania to get CPR Ready. In less than five minutes, the application provides immersive CPR training and then places the trainee at a virtual sudden cardiac arrest event, enabling them to put their newly acquired skills to work in saving a life.

Philadelphia’s bystander CPR rate is 20.3%—only half the national average. More than 1,100 people in Philadelphia died from sudden cardiac arrest in 2016. Bystander Hands-Only CPR can double or even triple a person’s chance of survival.

To increase the number of people in the region who are prepared to perform bystander CPR and use an AED, the CPR Ready campaign seeks to remove three common barriers to CPR training: cost, accessibility, and time. The Mobile CPR Unit provides free training with support from the Independence Blue Cross Foundation’s Healthy Hearts Initiative. The unit travels across the region to increase accessibility, and conducts convenient trainings in under an hour.