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By the Way: Infants, precious and vulnerable


Susan Salley, a pre-hospital registered nurse, pushed hard on the chest of Mini-Anne, an infant-sized mannequin. “One, two, three, fast, hard – 100, 120 times a minute,” she said.

Infants are so precious – and so vulnerable – and Salley is a member of a local organization teaching hands-only CPR to rescue those tough but still fragile little beings, saving them for bigger lives.

Salley and Ryan Pankoe, executive director and chief of Upper Bucks Regional Emergency Medical Services Inc. (UBREMS), recently visited a Durham Township supervisors’ meeting and handed out CPR Anytime kits containing a blow-up infant mannequin and a training video.

Salley said that pressing on the infant’s chest to the rhythm of “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees helps to maintain the ideal beat. A study has confirmed that medical students and physicians who were trained to do compressions, while listening to that song, would maintain the ideal rhythm of 100-120 compressions per minute.

UBREMS is one of 15 organizations comprising C.O.R.E. (Community Organized for Resuscitation Education.) “C.O.R.E. has trained more than 21,000 people since 2016,” Pankoe said. “We are the only Bucks County member.”

Founded by Dr. Nainesh Patel and Orlando Rivera of Lehigh Valley Health Network in 2015, C.O.R.E. expects to reach its goal of training 50,000 by 2025. It was initially funded by a Pool Trust Grant focused on CPR training in schools.

The visit to Durham was one of C.O.R.E.’s one-time events to provide hands-only CPR training in communities.

The group also supports the activities of EMS agencies, food banks and health networks. It also provides training for students and staff in schools.

Most of its member organizations are in the Lehigh Valley in both heavily populated and more rural areas generally removed from hospitals.

Salley noted, “Hands-only CPR is particularly important if you live in the middle of nowhere.” In addition to her pre-hospital certification Salley is a cardiology nurse, and passionate about the training program. “It saves lives,” she said.

According to the American Heart Association, sudden cardiac arrest is the third leading cause of death in the United states, and quick action on the part of bystanders trained in CPR, whether for infants, teens or adults, does save lives. The association directs: Call 9-1-1 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest until help arrives.

The training kit contains a blow-up mannequin the size of an infant and it is really easy to inflate—a few breaths and it pops right up. There’s also a video detailing instructions and a small fold-up reminder pamphlet that fits in a pocket.

The reminder, written in both English and Spanish, is published by the American Heart Association and

The first thing you should do, according to the pamphlet, is yell for help. Call 9-1-1 or have someone else call and ask for a portable defibrillator.

Look for no breathing or only gasping. Then start pushing hard and fast in the center of the chest. Push down at least 2 inches and let the chest come back up to its normal position. Try not to stop pushing on the chest for more than a few seconds. When the defibrillator arrives, turn it on and follow the prompts. That procedure and training has saved thousands of lives.

Groups in Bucks County who wish to schedule events may submit requests to