Columbia’s first CPR party being held by MU professor

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 11:04 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

Giving new meaning to the phrase “life of the party,” a Columbia couple will throw the city’s first-ever CPR party tonight.

A Red Cross instructor will show partygoers how to resuscitate an infant and child at the home of Elizabeth Kraatz, an MU nursing professor, and her husband, Jim Kraatz, director of the MU burn center.

“A lot of people are reluctant to take CPR in a classroom setting,” Elizabeth Kraatz said. “At home, it is a little bit friendlier, and people are less worried about making a mistake in that setting.”

Elizabeth, who is expecting her first child in less than a month, said she hopes the training will instill a sense of confidence in parents, family members and baby sitters. She said she got the idea of hosting a CPR party after her sister-in-law, Vickie Hemann, held a similar event.

Hemann’s experience became crucial two years later, when her toddler choked on a hot dog, Kraatz said. Hemann’s child survived the incident, but accidental deaths caused by choking are common among infants and children, Kraatz said.

A party to teach adult CPR could be next, Kraatz said. “We are waiting to see how (this one) goes,” she said.

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