The American Heart Association presented CPR kits and training to several Pine Bluff High School students Aug. 21. Participants included students in Morgan Wilson’s Integrated Biology class in the McGeorge Building, according to a news release.

Registered nurses from Arkansas Children’s Hospital also provided training for Pine Bluff School District administrators, according to the release.

The agencies distributed CPR kits at the school funded by a sponsorship from the Trinity Foundation. The kits will enable students to learn the life saving skills of CPR in as little as one class period, according to the release.

“According to statistics, about 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die, but if CPR if performed immediately, it can double or triple a person’s chance of survival,” according to the release. “Sadly, most of the time it doesn’t happen that way. The American Heart Association wants all students and educators to learn CPR, thereby, putting more qualified lifesavers in our communities.”

The heart association also wanted students to have CPR kits and training because more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the U.S. each year, according to the release.

“Many victims appear healthy with no known heart disease or other risk factors,” according to the release. “. A sudden cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic, which causes the heart to suddenly stop beating. It is because of these reasons that the American Heart Association is working tirelessly to make sure the bystander rate in Arkansas increases.”