Some cringed, some giggled and some stood with mouths gaped at the sight of real pig's heart.
The organ was used Thursday to show St. Clairsville Middle School's seventh graders the workings of the heart during an event held at Wheeling Hospital. Dr. Robert Fanning, interventional cardiologist, talked about its chambers and then gave the 150 students the good news: they also would get to touch it. Each student was given a glove to wear during their research.
"It was cool and cold," said student Rileigh Simpson of her experience feeling the heart. "I learned how the heart flows and what an AED is."
Photo by Shelley Hanson
St. Clairsville Middle School seventh graders taking turns touching a pig’s heart are, from left, Bree Bennington, Katelyn Orr, Jolie Nardo and Rileigh Simpson. Holding the heart is nurse Kelly Matusik.
An AED is an automated external defibrillator, which is a device used to jumpstart a person's heart.
Cara Gazdik, manager of staff development at the hospital, said the event was meant to get students excited about learning CPR next week at school. The children also got to see a live Doppler Ultrasound of a student's heart.
"I learned how a heart attack happens," student Maddie Kleinendorst said.
Other speakers included dietician Stephanie Fogle, respiratory therapist Dominic Moscato and wellness director Joe Slavik.
Fanning encouraged the students to learn CPR not only to possibly save a life in the future, but to teach their family members as well.
"If you do have to do CPR, you will remember it fondly for the rest of your life because you will have saved a life," Fanning said.