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North Dakota Woman Giving Thanks For Life-Saving Help

PHOTO: Bystander CPR can double or triple survival rates for heart attack victims. CREDIT: Shad Bolling

PHOTO: Bystander CPR can double or triple survival rates for heart attack victims. CREDIT: Shad Bolling


November 25, 2013

BISMARCK, N.D. - There will be an extra helping of giving thanks this Thursday as one North Dakota family sits down at the Thanksgiving table. Roxy Burnside, Fargo, was taking part in the Holiday Lights Parade last year when she suffered a heart attack and collapsed to the ground. Today, Burnside said she has fully recovered, thanks to bystanders who knew how to perform CPR and use a defibrillator, and jumped into action.

"I'm very grateful that they were all there and that it all happened right then and there, so it was all at the right place, right time, I guess," Burnside said.

Since she suffered her heart attack, Burnside's teenage grandkids have been taught how to perform CPR. She says it's a skill that can save lives and all students should learn.

"At that age, it's very, very important that they know CPR, because if they're in a situation where there are elderly people or young people, or are in a situation where they might be the first responders in an accident, they should know how to do that. I feel so strong about that," she said.

Efforts to make sure more folks across North Dakota know how to perform CPR are under way, thanks to a bill passed during the last legislative session. State Rep. Michael Nathe said it provides $450,000 to help provide CPR instruction in public and private high schools.

"They figure about 7,500 students each year will go through this training," Nathe said. "What this will do is give the kids a general understanding of how to do CPR and how to apply it - and really create the next generation of lifesavers."

Effective CPR can double or even triple the survival rate for heart-attack victims, but only about 40 percent of them receive such help. Heart disease is the leading killer in North Dakota.

More information about CPR in schools programs can be found at the American Heart Association of North Dakota website, www.heart.org.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - ND