New initiative to equip thousands of new parents with infant CPR kits

Kentucky Association of Health Plans, Kentuckiana American Heart Association announced initiative Tuesday

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ/PRESS RELEASE) – Kentucky Association of Health Plans (KAHP), the trade association representing all commercial insurers and Medicaid managed care organizations in the Commonwealth and the Kentuckiana American Heart Association (AHA), announced a new initiative to provide Infant CPR Anytime Training® Kits to Newborn Intensive Care Units (NICU) throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

According to Kentucky Association of Health Plans, the $95,000 grant from KAHP, the AHA will distribute 3,000 kits, complete with an inflatable manikin and video course to hospitals so they can distribute to new parents. The kits impart lifesaving infant choking and CPR training in about 20 minutes. The at-home kits will fill voids due to staffing limitations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The gift caps off National CPR Awareness Week.

“Since the transition to Medicaid Managed Care a decade ago, Kentucky has been able to improve access and health outcomes for infants, and this is part of continuing efforts to expand on those gains,” said Katherine Kington North, director of external affairs for KAHP.  “We’re excited to provide funding for this partnership with the American Heart Association.  This is an extremely effective tool that will increase the chances of survival in the face of an emergency and equip new parents with the confidence to administer lifesaving techniques.”

According to KAHP, the kits are available in both English and Spanish and provide a responsive experience for parents and caregivers to practice the proper way to apply chest compressions and other critical skills.

“With preterm infants, there are twice as many cardiovascular malformations as those born at full term, so the kits are especially important to those families,” said Dr. Sandra Guerra, chief medical director for KAHP member, WellCare of Kentucky and board chair of the Kentuckiana AHA. “Premature infants may also have breathing difficulties due to an underdeveloped respiratory system, and should it be necessary, parents will have the know-how to administer aid before an ambulance arrives. The physical practice that these kits provide is tremendous.”

According to KAHP, the kits include a skills reference card to refresh and review skills at any time. KAHP and the AHA began deliveries to NICUs in mid-May, with 1,900 distributed to-date, and will continue the shipments throughout the next several months.

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