Learning to resuscitate with Rieu

Learning to resuscitate with Rieu

Maastricht students give CPR lesson in packed MECC

13-12-2023 · Reportage

Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive, sounds through the MECC this Wednesday afternoon. Coming weekend this will be the setting for André Rieu's Christmas concerts, but today the world-famous violinist and his orchestra have an unusual audience: some two thousand secondary school students. To the rhythm of the music, they are learning resuscitation, with instructions from Maastricht students.

The long rows of folding chairs have for the occasion given way to a thousand resuscitation manikins, many of which have been made available by the Norwegian company Laerdal. The secondary school students, who travelled to Maastricht by bus from all over Limburg, sit in pairs next to the manikins. "The goal today is that you learn what to do in an emergency situation," Rieu addresses them. And to draw attention: camera crews from Germany to Australia have gathered. "Hopefully every child in the world will learn how to do CPR," he says.

Students from the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life sciences (FHML), like dozens of other instructors from all over the country, walk around to tutor the students. They are used to this: on behalf of the Maastricht Taskforce QRS, they regularly give CPR training at secondary schools. "But keeping two thousand teenagers under control is quite a difference from the usual thirty," says medical student Laura van Oers. Together with a fellow student, she gets to instruct the whole hall alongside Rieu. The focus is mainly on practising chest compressions. "A complete lesson, i.e. including artificial respiration, is not realistic for such a large group. But this is also already quite something, it gives them a basis."

After the instruction, it's practice time to the rhythm of Rieu. The choice of Stayin' Alive is for a reason: "We often mention it in lessons as a guideline for the rhythm of the chest compressions," says Van Oers. "Although we never play music in class, so this is new." However, the music does not sound for long: after a minute, Rieu stops the orchestra. "Everyone is sitting around filming," he says. Once the mobiles are put away, the real work begins: four times playing Stayin' Alive. Cheers sound as singer Emma Kok (winner of The Voice Kids in 2021) takes the stage for All I Want For Christmas Is You as the closing act. "I think you've had your gymnastics lesson for today," chuckles the violinist afterwards.

It was indeed intense, agree a number of students from the QRS Taskforce standing around chatting afterwards. "It was very noisy. In the beginning, I thought 'Oh dear...'. But after a while you really saw progress among many students. André gave the rhythm well." Another adds: "Nice that he uses his great range for this. This will hopefully give CPR lessons in schools a boost."


Photo's: Joey Roberts

Categories: News, news_top
Tags: cpr,resuscitate,taskforce qrs,andré rieu,students,instagram

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