The Kentuckiana American Heart Association and the Kentucky Association of Health Plans, the association for companies selling and managing health insurance in the state, and have introduced a new initiative to equip thousands of new Kentucky parents with kits to teach them how to give cardiopulmonary resuscitation to an infant.
The initiative is funded by a $95,000 grant from KAHP. The AHA will distribute 3,000 Infant CPR Anytime Training® Kits to newborn intensive-care units throughout the state. The kits include an inflatable manikin along with a video course designed to provide infant choking and CPR training in about 20 minutes.
“We’re excited to provide funding for this partnership with the American Heart Association. This is an extremely effective tool that will increase the chances of survival in the face of an emergency and equip new parents with the confidence to administer lifesaving techniques,” Katherine Kington North, director of external affairs for KAHP, said in a news release.
The release notes that the at-home kits will fill voids created by staffing problems related to the Covid-19 pandemic. They will be available in English and Spanish. The AHA began deliveries of the kits in mid-May, with 1,900 distributed to date, says the release. The KAHP gift capped off National CPR Awareness Week, which ran from June 1-7 this year.
“With preterm infants, there are twice as many cardiovascular malformations as those born at full term, so the kits are especially important to those families,” Dr. Sandra Guerra, chief medical director for KAHP member WellCare of Kentucky and board chair of the Kentuckiana AHA, said in the release.
She added, “Premature infants may also have breathing difficulties due to an underdeveloped respiratory system, and should it be necessary, parents will have the know-how to administer aid before an ambulance arrives. The physical practice that these kits provide is tremendous.”
In 2020, there were 5,705 preterm births in Kentucky, representing 11% of live births, according to the March of Dimes.