Wednesday, November 1, 2018
Part of becoming a knowledgeable savvy individual is equipping yourself with knowledge and training for almost any situation and scenario. I remember years ago for a job I had where I had an opportunity to learn CPR but backed out because of simply fear. Would I be able to act accordingly and what kind of dangers are there? But what’s worse is that by not going through with the training I just perpetuated my lack of knowledge. Recently I had a new opportunity to train and arm myself with the knowledge of CPR and let me say that I should have just went through with the scenario because in life you’re never going to be ready for every scenario. But that’s what training and follow refresher classes are for. A good saying to remember is that experts are not born, they are built. And the only way to make yourself an expert is to do something over and over again till you are proficient and fluent in something.
You might ask yourself “but I’m scared in an a life or death emergency”. And that is a legitimate concern. But there are Good Samaritan laws in most states to protect you from liability if you do CPR and are trained and the only person there. The worse outcome is not doing something and as my CPR trainer said “dead is dead”. If someone is going to die from inaction, then doing something to save someone and give them a possibility of living is sometimes the better choice. So with that here are the steps for CPR. Keep in mind this is no substitute for a real life training course that is often offered for free at many places at work and we heavily encourage you if you have an opportunity to take such a class because they also teach other useful life skills and not just CPR. Ours taught us about the heroin epidemic, splints, and choking hazards. Here are the basic steps for CPR.
What you should do if you have an emergency
There are some basic things to know if you ever have an emergency before giving any kind of CPR.
- First check the scene to make sure the scene is safe and that the are no additional hazards such as electric wires, poisonous hazmat or biohazards, and dangerous animals. You may need to tap on the person’s shoulder and shout “Are you OK?” to be sure that the person is actually okay and not asleep or just passed out. That way you can be sure that the person is actually in need of help.
- If there is no response then you might need to call for assistance. If that is the case it may be important to call 911 or notify the local building guards or security if you are in a public place or at work. If the person clearly needs help then call for help or if there is a person nearby then instruct them to dial 911 on the phone AND also send someone to get an AED. When there is no bystander available or AED you will then need to stay with the victim while you call 911. You may need to put the call on speaker as you administer assistance to the person.
- At this time you need to act relatively fast but remain calm and first you need to open up the person’s airway by making sure the person is lying on their back and then gently tilt the head back and slightly lift the chin. This allows the tongue to not block the airway.
- Check to see if there is any kind of breathing. If you listen for a breath then do so for no more than about 10 seconds for normal breathing. There may be occasional gasping but that it not considered normal breathing. If there is no breathing then at that point you will need to begin CPR to assist in secondary breathing for the person.
How to perform CPR
- What you will need to do is push hard and fast on the person’s chest. One hand is on top of the other hand and in the middle of an adult’s chest. For the purposes of this article we are dealing with an adult. Your body weight is used to help compress the chest at least two inches deep between 100 compressions to 120 per minute.
- After about 30 chest compressions you with give rescue breaths by again tilting the person’s head back slightly, lifting the chin, pinching the nose shut and putting your mouth over the other person’s mouth to completely seal the mouth. Blow into the person’s mouth to help it rise but you don’t need to do much make it rise. About enough to say one one thousand, two one thousand. Sometimes the chest might not rise on the first breath so you may have to reposition the head with the second. So check for choking. Try to look for any obstructions between every chest compression and rescue breath cycle and remove it to make it easier for air to pass through.
- Continue to these 30 chest compression and two rescue breath cycles until either the person starts to breath on their own or an AED is available or trained medical providers or EMS arrives on the scene. Unfortunately if the scene becomes unsafe or you feel too exhausted to perform any more cycles then you may need to stop.
How to use an AED
First of all, what is an AED? An AED is seen in many offices and public buildings. These things are also know as an automated external defibrillator. What it does is an easy-to-use medical device with sophisticated electronics to analyze a person’s heart rhythm and help re-establish an effective rhythm.
The thing about the AED pad placement is that it creates a “heart sandwich” of sorts so that the electric current conducts between the location of the pads to create a shock to the heart.
Anyone can have sudden cardiac arrest at any time. It is important to get proper AED and CPR training so that you can learn how and when to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). The classes are taught by experts with years of experience in simple-to-use techniques to help you save a life.
But it is also an important thing to take refresher courses and test your skills to stay up to date on techniques and help you remain prepared should a situations arise. The classes will help you retain basic steps, provide you with knowledge of usage of a first aid kit and keep you from forgetting important actions required to be taken.
Usually the AED will give you instructions on what to do. But first you may need to remove upper garments from the person to expose the chest and abdomen area. You may also have to remove just enough chest hair to be able to have the AED electric pads make contact with the exposed skin. This may also require snipping clothing if necessary. Also try to remove any metal jewelry or watches to prevent burns elsewhere.
You will then need to turn it on and then usually remove the protective strip from the pad to expose any sticky part and put one on the upper left chest and one on the right side of the stomach and abs below the heart of the right side. Usually you will have pictures that will show where is the proper place to place the pads.
You will continue to administer CPR unless it says it’s going to start analyzing the person’s heart rate and at that point you would stop so it doesn’t interfere with the short quick process. If you touch the person it make pick up your electric current or pulse that runs through your body and think everything is ok so be sure not to be in contact with the person while it analyzes. If it tells you that a shock needs to be delivered then make sure to clear the area and no one is touching the person. If your device is semi-automatic then you will likely need to press a button after everyone is cleared from the immediate two feet of space around the person. The shock is around 120-200 joules in opposite polarity across the pads.
Once it is given then continue delivering CPR and leave the pads attached.
This article uses some information from the Red Cross and Wikipedia’s site.
To take a CPR class check your local Red Cross chapter or see if there is a class near you at work.
Was this a useful article to you? Would you like to see more articles like this? Remember to quote a famous phrase “Courage is not the absence of fear; true courage is manifest in bravely doing what has to be done in spite of fears“. This quote was likely from Emerson Roy West.