Penn offers CPR training for parents


Knowing how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can mean the difference between life and death, and often that life is likely to be someone at home: a child, a spouse, a parent, or a friend.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), a bystander who performs effective CPR immediately after a sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival. “CPR is an easy skill that saves lives,” says Daniel Spielman, chief of Penn’s Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT). “Unfortunately, too few individuals are certified and timing is critical.”

Knowing CPR is particularly important for parents because performing it on a child is different than treating an adult. For that reason, the Penn Women’s Center (PWC), the Family Resource Center, and the Division of Public Safety are partnering with Parents @ Penn to offer CPR certification training to parents throughout the University community.

On Saturday, Nov. 10, members of MERT will conduct a three-hour course at the Penn Women’s Center covering infant, child, and adult CPR. The class costs $10 and is open to Penn parents and their partners/spouses. Participants must pay in advance to reserve a space. Only 20 spots are available.

The training is divided into morning and afternoon sessions: from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. 

“In addition to providing pre-hospital emergency medical care, a part of MERT’s mission is to raise public health awareness and educate our community,” Spielman says.

To register for the CPR training session, visit the Family Resource Center, Houston Hall, 3417 Spruce St., Suite 240, from Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For answers to any questions about the training email Jessica Bolker at

Jessica Mertz, associate director of the Penn Women’s Center, says if there is a lot of interest from parents on campus, and if the Center continues to secure co-sponsors, the PWC would be open to offering this training on a more regular basis. “As of now,” she says, “we hope to offer it annually.”

Originally published on October 25, 2012