• Bassett’s Save a Life Campaign

    Bassett Medical Center

    February 5, 2018

    You’re Invited – Learn How to Save a Life

    Cooperstown, NY – Bassett Healthcare Network’s nearly 4,000 employees had the opportunity Friday, Feb. 5, to hear the impactful story of a doctor who two years ago found himself in the position of performing CPR on his own daughter. That doctor, Derek Ratliff, an ophthalmologist at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, and his daughter Kristin, shared their story in the hopes of saving more lives. Their powerful experience played out in a video (watch the video) during Bassett’s annual Go Red for Women program and was followed by demonstrations of hands-only CPR and the proper use of an AED (automated external defibrillator).

    It was May of 2016 when Kristin Ratliff collapsed on the Cooperstown High School track during a race. Her father and colleagues in the stands rushed to Kristin’s side. Over the next several minutes, they performed CPR and, using an AED, administered shocks to revive Kristin’s heart.

    “Having those skills really does save lives,” says Ratliff. “Kristin is the poster child for someone whose life was saved through CPR and the use of an AED, and the sooner CPR is performed and the defibrillator is used, the more likely someone is to recover. The message is, don’t be afraid to act.”

    Kristin agrees and says, “I think it is easy to kind of take everything for granted because you don’t expect something bad to happen, especially when you’re young and healthy. Anyone can make a difference, just having a defibrillator near and then having people know CPR is really important.”    

    Kristin was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson White Syndrome, which can cause a short-circuit in the heart’s electrical pathways. Fortunately, her heart was able to be fixed and Kristin is well and now running track for Amherst College.

    “She recently achieved a personal best in the mile,” her father told the audience during Bassett’s Go Red for Women’s Heart Health program last Friday. Following the program, employees were invited to join in hands-only CPR training sessions.

    Public Invited to Learn

    The American Heart Association describes hands-only CPR as CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. It is recommended for use by people who see a teen or adult suddenly collapse in an “out-of-hospital” setting and consists of two simple steps:

    1. Call 9-1-1 (or send someone to do that).

    2. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest.

    The public is invited to learn hands-only CPR and see how easy it is to use an automated external defibrillator during Bassett’s Oneonta Indoor Heart Walk Friday, Feb. 10, at FoxCare Center. It all starts 9 am. In addition to the walk, and hands-only CPR and AED instruction, there will be animals from the Utica Zoo, a DJ, free Zumba and yoga classes by FoxCare Fitness, free blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose checks, and more. Enter a raffle for a FitBit, wine and dark chocolate gift basket, and other great prizes. Register for the Oneonta Indoor Heart Walk at https://www.bassett.org/heartwalk.

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