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QCC Nursing Students Win 2018-2019 College ‘Hands-Only’ CPR Challenge Award

Contact: Karen Hutner
Office of Institutional Communications
khutner [at]

WORCESTER, MA—June 18, 2019— Quinsigamond Community College recently received recognition as a 2018-2019 College “Hands-Only” CPR Challenge award winner at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Stroke Association of Central Massachusetts for training over 800 QCC students, faculty and staff in the “Hands Only” CPR technique. A total of nine schools participated in the challenge this year, with a total of over 5,400 people becoming trained in critical cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) lifesaving techniques.

In fall 2018, Quinsigamond Community College’s senior nursing students participated in the AHA’s “Hands Only” immediate Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training, in addition to “Stop the Bleed.” They taught participants a type of CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths called, “Hands-Only” CPR. This type of CPR is recommended for use by people who see a teen or adult suddenly collapse in an out-of-hospital setting and need immediate assistance to help increase the person’s chance for survival. The leading cause of death in today is sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

“Only about 46 percent of people who experience an out of hospital cardiac arrest receive the immediate help that they need before professional help arrives,” said Jay Cyr, American Heart Association Board Member in Central Massachusetts and Senior Vice President of Surgical Services at UMass Memorial Medical Center. “Learning ‘Hands-Only’ CPR enables bystanders to take action in an emergency. Quinsigamond Community College’s dedication to training their community saves lives.”

Nearly 400,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States, making it imperative to get CPR in order to increase the chances of survival. According to the AHA, 89 percent of people who suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die because they don’t receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene, making these type of training sessions so valuable.

“We are thrilled that we won the award,” said QCC Professor of Nurse Education Susan Johnson. “It was pretty challenging, but we exceeded the amount of students, faculty and staff that we were able to train.”

While not a part of the CPR challenge, the nursing students also offered “Stop the Bleed” training in addition to the “Hands Only” CPR training. A person can bleed to death in less than five minutes, which makes it difficult for emergency medical responders to arrive fast enough to control bleeding and save lives. The “Stop the Bleed” technique teaches participants ways to help a victim until professional assistance arrives on the scene.

“We want to pay it forward and were happy to do this training,” Ms. Johnson said, adding that the goal is to do this type of training again in fall 2019 with a new group of senior nursing students.

For more information about QCC, contact Josh Martin, Director of Institutional Communications at 508.854.7513 or jmartin [at]

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Quinsigamond Community College is the most affordable higher education in Worcester County. As a regional leader in education and workforce development, QCC serves the diverse educational needs of Central Massachusetts by providing affordable, accessible, and high quality programming leading to transfer, career, and lifelong learning.