Longtime Denver Volunteer Arlene Mohler Johnson

Saving Little Hearts Program Ensures New Parents Leave Hospitals With Lifesaving Cardiac Training

Emergency cardiac training for new parents is critical, especially for families who are bringing home a premature baby or one with a congenital heart defect. These infants are at an increased risk for cardiac failure and respiratory issues, on top of the fact that choking is the leading cause of unintentional death for all infants in the U.S. Under normal circumstances, parents are provided with lifesaving cardiac training prior to being discharged from the hospital.

Due to COVID-19, many hospitals have ceased their face-to-face CPR training classes to families, which means families are leaving hospital NICUs without this critical lifesaving training for their high-risk newborns. We know that without this training, many parents will not know what to do in case of an emergency.

Thanks to a generous personal gift from longtime American Heart Association supporter and volunteer, Arlene Mohler Johnson, the AHA can provide families in Colorado with the resources they need to stay safe during this difficult time.

Arlene’s generous gift supports our Saving Little Hearts Program, which was launched to ensure that new parents leave the hospital with lifesaving skills. Through this program, the AHA has been able to distribute hundreds of Infant CPR Anytime kits to hospital NICUs throughout Colorado over the past few years. The Infant CPR Anytime kits stand in to fill the gap, containing everything that a new parent needs to learn the lifesaving skills of infant CPR and choking relief – anytime, anywhere.

Through this program, parents now leave the hospital with confidence in learning the lifesaving skill in about 20 minutes by watching a video and practicing on a manikin. There are differences between performing CPR on an infant and an adult, so Infant CPR Anytime kits can also train grandparents, babysitters and nannies how to properly help a baby if they ever become unresponsive. Each kit includes items such as a Mini Baby CPR personal manikin, a bilingual Infant CPR Anytime Skills Reminder Card, a bilingual Infant CPR Anytime DVD, and manikin wipes.

Are you interested in learning more about how you can help keep families around Colorado safe during a time when they are needed the most? Contact Ashley Nordberg at Ashley.nordberg@heart.org to learn more about our Saving Little Hearts program.

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