American Heart Association

Photo Credit: Rodolfo Suarez | Daily Texan Staff

One hundred years ago, a failing heart meant a death sentence. Now, with cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, a pulse can be restored.

 CPR is an emergency procedure for people who have stopped breathing and are unresponsive. Successful CPR provides blood circulation to deliver necessary oxygen and nutrients when the heart stops working. Lack of circulation causes brain damage that is often irreversible, even if the heart later recovers to full functionality. 

Preferably, CPR is used with an automated external defibrillator, or AED. AEDs are portable electronic devices that apply electrical shocks to help the heart re-establish a
normal rhythm.

The aims of CPR and AED use are clear, but the practice constantly changes. In 2010, the American Heart Association changed its standards for CPR performed on adults. The association now emphasizes high-quality chest compressions, which should be at least two inches deep and performed at a rate of at least 100 compressions a minute. Singing the Bee Gee’s “Stayin’ Alive” is an easy way to hit 100 beats per minute.

Louis Gonzales is the co-founder of TAKE10, a program in which participants learn CPR in two minutes and spend eight more minutes practicing their technique. TAKE10, and programs like it, only teach the compression portion of CPR and how to use an AED. The class avoids subjects that might keep people from CPR, such as the fact that CPR usually breaks the patient’s ribs.

 “Your ribs can heal, but if you die, it doesn’t matter,” Gonzales said. “Talking about the things that deter people from CPR is not beneficial to the cardiac arrest victim.”

Theatre and dance junior Jane Hayes is the director of Longhorn EMS and has worked for three years as an emergency responder.

“There is no better feeling in the world than finding a once absent pulse,” Hayes said.

If CPR and the AED are used properly, the likelihood that a patient will walk out of the hospital increases from 7 percent to 38 percent, as shown in a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Despite the high success rate, bystanders don’t usually perform CPR. The American Heart Association reported that only about 30 percent of the population is trained to perform CPR. The goal of classes such as TAKE10 is to increase this number by abbreviating the time it takes to finish a CPR instructional course. 

“As students, we spend hundreds of hours studying material that may or may not be relevant to us in the future,” Hayes said. “It is possible to learn CPR in a single afternoon, which may actually save lives.” 

Gonzales said people may be unwilling to perform CPR for different reasons even if they have been certified. They may feel uncomfortable touching strangers who are obviously unwell or feel anxiety about remembering the details about performing CPR. 

 “Most people want to help, but they’re afraid of hurting someone by not doing CPR perfectly,” Gonzales said.

 Gonzales emphasizes that imperfect compressions are better than no attempt at CPR.

 “Knowing how to perform CPR does not save lives,” Gonzales said. “You have to combine that with the willingness to act. It may not be perfect, but doing something is more effective than doing nothing.” 

Texas Kappa Delta hosted “KD Quesadillas” during RoundUp to raise money for its local philanthropy, Austin Center for Child Protection.

Photo Credit: Ellyn Snider | Daily Texan Staff

Ten UT sororities raised a combined total of more than $30,000 for charities during RoundUp, one of the Greek system’s biggest annual fundraising weekends.

RoundUp is an annual weekend-long event fraternities and sororities host in West Campus. The participating sororities hosted philanthropic events for a variety of charities, including the American Heart Association and the Austin Center for Child Protection. 

On Friday, Texas Kappa Delta hosted “KD Quesadillas,” where, for $5, guests ate quesadillas and churros. Kappa Delta also offered attendees face painting and a photo booth. Catherine Frost, human relations sophomore and Kappa Delta’s vice president of community service, said sororities capitalize on the sheer number of people passing through West Campus during RoundUp weekend. 

“RoundUp is just a great opportunity because the whole campus is kind of in one place, and it’s just a good opportunity to get people together and raise money for your philanthropies and get people excited about the causes,” Frost said. 

Kappa Delta aimed to exceed its annual $60,000 goal for its local philanthropy, Austin Center for Child Protection, with the money raised at KD Quesadillas, Frost said. 

“In RoundUp alone, we typically raise $5,000 or more from KD Quesadillas,” Frost said. “A few weeks ago, we did a golf tournament that raised $60,000. It’s been a really big goal for us to achieve higher standards in philanthropy, so this year has been great for us.”

Austin Center for Child Protection has similar aims as the sorority’s national philanthropy, Prevent Child Abuse America, which a member of Kappa Delta founded, Frost said.

“Austin Center for Child Protection … takes kids who are in abuse cases and does a single forensic interview for them, so they don’t have to go through the interview over and over again and don’t have to relive the trauma,” Frost said. “It’s recorded and sent to necessary parties. It puts them through a program to help them get back on track for a normal life.”

Chi Omega sold tickets to its event, “Kickin’ with Chi-O,” and raised $7,595 for its philanthropy, Make-A-Wish Foundation, according to Kelly Brooks, advertising senior and sorority member.

“We sell tickets to Kickin’ with Chi-O, an event with snow cones, face paint, music and food,” Brooks said. “It’s really fun, and we do it every year for RoundUp, and all proceeds go straight to [Make-A-Wish].”

Alpha Phi’s official RoundUp fundraising event was called Brunch for Lunch, which raised more than $2,000, according to Anneke Rood, human development and family sciences sophomore and Alpha Phi’s director of philanthropy.

Rood said the proceeds from the event will be split between the national chapter of Alpha Phi’s chosen cause, the American Heart Association, and the chapter’s chosen cause, the Tuleeni Orphans Home, a home in Tanzania for orphaned children. 

Rood said Alpha Phi’s philanthropic partnership with the American Heart Association is important to both her and others in the organization who have personally dealt with cardiovascular conditions.

“I was actually born with four heart defects, so it’s really close and personal to me,” Rood said. “The American Heart Association actually funded the research for the surgeries that saved my life. It’s really cool for me to be in a sorority that cares so much about heart health and giving back to the community that’s done so much for me.”

To read about how the weekend was impacted by new city sound ordinances, and to watch a video recap and slideshow, click here.

At “Food Marketing and the Childhood Obesity Crisis,” a lecture emphasizing the facts behind obesity, Ellen Wartella, a professor of psychology, communication, human development and social policy at Northwestern University, emphasized the growing crisis and efforts to correct it.

One in three kids and teens in the United States is obese, according to the American Heart Association.

Wartella said she serves on panels, including the PBS Kids Next Generation Media Advisory Board, to minimize the number of advertisements for unhealthy packaged or processed foods, a critical source of cultural influence that can lead to childhood obesity.

“The whole issue has become much more prominent in the last few years,” Wartella said. “We’re seeing the first generation of children that might not live as long as their parents.”

At the event, the College of Communication presented her with the Wayne A. Danielson Award for Distinguished Contributions to Communication for her persistence in solving the growing crisis of childhood obesity in America. The talk was directed at students in the College of Communication in hopes that they could one day play a positive role in advertising healthier foods to combat obesity, Wartella said.

Public relations senior Enrique Garay said Wartella was correct when it comes to parents not understanding what is and is not essential to their child’s nutrition. Garay said his family meals growing up often included high-calorie foods that are part of his culture.

“I know what it feels like to be obese. Parents like mine don’t have the knowledge that some other households have about healthy eating habits,” Garay said.

Wartella’s suggestions for ending the child obesity crisis include reforms in the food and beverage advertising industry and limits on advertisements for unhealthy products. Radio-television-film professor Joseph Straubhaar said college students tend to forget they might be a parent in the future and what it means to live a healthy lifestyle.

“People in their teens and early 20s think they’re going to be healthy no matter what they do, but you still see obese people on campus,” Straubhaar said.

Wartella said a major problem is the steadily increasing minimum weight used to define obesity. She said the increasing proportion of obesity in the general population creates social acceptance of a health risk.

“As we get used to more people being overweight, we don’t think of being overweight as bad,” Wartella said. “Our definition of health just keeps slipping.”

Printed on Thursday, November 1, 2012 as: Child obesity increase proves major problem

Tabling Teletubbies

Although Valentine’s Day might normally be a time for exchanging candy and paper hearts, students also learned about their flesh-and-blood hearts Monday.

Students who wandered to the Spanish Oaks Terrace near Jester learned about the importance of cardiovascular fitness from five student organizations through various carnival games such as “pin the heart on the human” and activities such as jumping rope and Hula-Hooping. New members of the Natural Sciences Council organized the event to promote a healthy heart and raised $725 for the American Heart Association.

“We wanted to raise awareness on campus of heart disease because it’s the No. 1 leading cause of death in the U.S., and lots of people at the collegiate age don’t know that,” said biology freshman and organizer Juan Herrejon.

He said many college students do not normally associate the lack of exercise and heart conditioning with heart disease later in life.

“We think that it’s important for students to know that, so they can start taking steps to prevent it now, so they have a greater chance of living a longer, healthier life,” Herrejon said.

Herrejon said the carnival came at a perfect time to coincide with American Heart Month and Valentine’s Day. The council sold carnations and hot chocolate to go along with the healthy hearts theme and to benefit scientific research and education in communities through the American Heart Association.

UT’s Science Undergraduate Research Group gave away healthy snacks, such as granola bars and raisins, if students answered heart-related trivia correctly. The College of Natural Science’s Dean’s Scholars talked to students about being organ donors.

Rezwana Rahman, psychology and premed junior and Student Health Advisory Committee member, said too much stress can lead to high blood pressure which can lead to heart disease later in life.

“The biggest thing right now is stress and anxiety and how it is so prominent in the college-age group, so we came up with a symbolic thing of writing your stress on magic paper and dissolving it away,” Rahman said.

UT Nursing Students Association members gave blood pressure assessments. Vanessa Castellon, nursing senior and UTNSA vice president, advised students to monitor their blood pressure at an annual checkup.

“It’s easier to manage if you catch it early on than having heart disease later on,” Castellon said.