Are You Trained to Save a Life?

CPR training pumps ‘new life’ into CSL Behring’s King of Prussia, Pa., campus.

CPR training at CSL Behring

Employees take part in CPR training at CSL Behring's campus in King of Prussia, Pa. The global biotech company's new training program is part of an American Heart Association initiative to have 20 million people trained in CPR by 2020.


Would you know what to do if someone was experiencing cardiac arrest? A simple intervention could make the difference between life and death.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), a person experiencing cardiac arrest has a much greater chance of survival if he or she receives immediate CPR and if an automated external defibrillator (AED) is used within five minutes of cardiac onset.

The statistics are staggering:

  • According to AHA, about 90 percent of people who suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die.

  • 46 percent of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest receive immediate help before medical professionals arrive.

  • 70 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in homes.

Delaware resident Michele Darnell knows first-hand the importance of being trained in CPR. Before joining CSL Behring, she took action when a colleague began having a heart attack.

“I first learned CPR when I was a lifeguard in high school and college and have taken refresher classes a number of times over the years,” said Darnell. “I always hoped the training was just a precaution and that I’d never need to use it. But one day I was nearby when a colleague suddenly went unconscious, collapsed and stopped breathing. It was scary, but I was grateful that I knew what to do and could help him until emergency responders arrived and took over. Fortunately, the story had a positive ending. My colleague survived and recovered.”

CSL Behring began providing hands-only CPR training to employees earlier this year. The program is part of an initiative driven by the AHA to reach its goal of having 20 million people trained in hands-only CPR by 2020.

Ed Martin, Chief and Executive Manager for the Lafayette, Pa. rescue squad, sees the value to emergency responders when this CPR is administered to someone having a heart attack.

“It’s a part of the chain of survival. So when we arrive on scene that patient might have a pulse, or may be in a shockable rhythm, that we can defibrillate, then initiate some medications and get their heart beating again,” said Martin.

The cost of this employee benefit is minimal and companies like CSL Behring can partner with their local AHA organization to engage employees in “train the trainer” programs to spread the learning.

“We wanted to provide employees with the necessary training so that they are able to help someone in cardiac distress, either at work or outside of work,” says Kelly Hamilton, CSL Behring’s Manager of Global Environment Health Safety and Sustainability. “This program was a logical fit for our culture to deliver on our promise to provide innovative programs that help people live full lives.”

More than 130 CSL Behring employees have been trained so far. People completing the program say they hope they never have to use the life-saving training, but it is reassuring to know that they are prepared if they ever need to help someone who is experiencing a cardiac event.

“In hindsight, getting trained in CPR was probably one of the most important things I’ve ever done,” Darnell said.