Eagles, Penn Medicine and Blue Cross team to promote CPR awareness, education

Dr. Ben Abella teaches local athletes how to perform CPR at the NovaCare Complex.
Dr. Ben Abella teaches local athletes how to perform CPR at the NovaCare Complex. Photo credit Hadas Kuznits/KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia Eagles have partnered with Penn Medicine and Independence Blue Cross to raise awareness and education around sudden cardiac arrest and CPR. Doctors are pushing to teach as many people as they can how to save a life.

“350,000 people a year in the U.S. experience sudden cardiac arrest, according to Dr. Richard Snyder with Independence Blue Cross. He says the chances of someone living through sudden cardiac arrest increase when someone performs CPR on them. However, many people lack CPR education.

“It's the fact that people fear they might hurt somebody, they may not do it right or don't know how to do it,” he told KYW Newsradio. “The reality is if they don't do something, the person will die.”

The relaunching of Penn Medicine’s CPR mobile training unit took place at Eagles Training Camp with Dr. Ben Abella. “Our goal is really to get people to learn CPR. We're going to be doing classes every week. For the next two years,” he said.

10 years ago, CPR training gave Amanda Dobson the confidence to help Anthony Radico when he collapsed at the gym.

“There [were] many, many people around me, but I think a lot of people were afraid to jump in and help,” she said. “I kind of put my hand on him and right away I could tell something was wrong. So I called 911. immediately started the first chain of response there and then I was with him when his heart stopped and just pulled him down on his back and started CPR.”

Anthony says he wouldn’t be alive today if Amanda didn’t perform the life-saving seven minutes of CPR on him — and he adds there needs to be more education about cardiac arrest in places where people gather.

“The place I was at had a defibrillator that they didn't use because they didn't know,” he said. “If they had that, it could have made everything a lot easier.”

Featured Image Photo Credit: Hadas Kuznits/KYW Newsradio