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Doctors' Notes

The Gift of Life: CPR Awareness

Welcome to Doctors’ Notes, our newest contribution from Urban Health correspondents and husband and wife physicians Dr. Rob and Dr. Karla Robinson.  The dynamic duo will be fielding questions about health, as it relates to African Americans.  Please feel free to send them questions via talkback@jetmag.comWe promise to keep it anonymous. 

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In this season of giving, let’s not forget the importance of giving back to the community in a meaningful way. This month, we will focus on “Giving the Gift of Life” and the various ways you can affect the health of your friends, loved ones and your community.

We spoke with Omarosa, successful entrepreneur, businesswoman, media personality, and now ordained minister about her passion for educating the community on the importance of CPR awareness.  Statistics show that 88 percent of all sudden cardiac arrests occur at home. Consider giving the gift of life through CPR should you ever witness a sudden cardiac arrest.  The life you save just may be that of a loved one.

Urban Housecall: You became a household name in 2004 after appearing on Donald Trump’s reality show, The Apprentice, and since then you have gone on to participate in many successful ventures.  Tell us a little bit about what it is you are doing now.

Omarosa: Well, I am a full-time minister. I am an assistant Pastor at Weller Street Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles and it’s really truly my passion and my call.  I love the work that I do.  I love advancing the kingdom of God.

UH: Now as a minister, successful entrepreneur, businesswoman, media personality, the list goes on and on…you are certainly an inspiration to many.  But I must say that equally as inspiring is your personal mission to really raise awareness about the importance of being trained in CPR.  Can you tell us a little bit about why this is so important to you?

O: Yes, absolutely.  Well, I think everyone has heard that my fiancé had a heart attack last year. Fortunately, I was there with him when he had the heart attack and I was able to give him CPR which allowed him to get to the hospital and get the treatment that he needed.  He suffered from a sudden cardiac arrest and without that training, without that ability to give him CPR, there’s no question that he would have passed.

So I think it is incredibly important for everyone to know how to do CPR, but not just how to do it, how to do CPR for the people who are in your home.  Meaning, if you have a baby there’s a different CPR protocol for children.  In my case, I had a 350 pound man who required a significantly different protocol and effort.  So if you are a mother, you need to know how to do CPR for your children and it’s incredibly important that even your children know first aid.  So I have been traveling the country trying to get people to be aware of the need, why it’s important, and how to do it properly.

UH: Now statistics show that 7 out of 10 people who witness a sudden cardiac arrest like you did, often times feel helpless because they either do not know how to administer CPR or it has many years since they have been trained.  What really motivated you to spring into action?  Is CPR something that you had always kept up with and you were being certified on a regular basis?  Or did you just kind of jump in to emergency mode?

O: (Laughs) No, in fact I recently talked about this in an interview about the fact that when I was in college I was a tennis instructor.  So they required us every summer to take CPR and get CPR certified, so I was operating off of a 20-year-old protocol.  That was probably the last time I took it, it was my senior year in college, but it came back to me very quickly. I knew I needed to do something.

I have heard stories from women all over the country whose husbands have literally died in front of them and they did not know what to do.  That coupled with the fear, just being terrified…when you’re watching your loved one gasping for air or in some cases not breathing at all (as was the case with me and Michael) some people freeze, or some people spring into action. I want everyone to spring into action if they find themselves in that situation.  Everyone should get certified!

It’s a health thing…we’ve got to understand!

About the Doctors:

Dr. Karla and Dr. Rob are the founders of Urban Housecall Magazine and host the Urban Housecall Radio Show.  For more from the doctors, visit their website at www.urbanhousecallmagazine.com, like them on Facebook UrbanHousecallMagazine, and follow them on Twitter @urbanhousecall!