During a cardiac arrest, time is critical and swift actions can make the difference between survival and fatality.This article is all about Key Skills and Techniques Taught in CPR Certification.
Consider the following real life case study from the UK:
An office worker suffered a heart attack at work, but quick action by trained colleagues administering chest compressions (CPR) and using an on-site AED kept them stable until paramedics arrived. In this case, the timely aid of co-workers led to the sick employee’s complete recovery and eventual return to work.
The key takeaway here is that first aid training saves lives and it begs the following question:
‘If this incident happened at your workplace, would you and your team know what to do?’
Let’s explore exactly what’s involved in certified first aid training which includes CPR, AED and anaphylaxis first aid. As we do, we’ll discover that It’s not just for emergency personnel; anyone can benefit from learning these potentially life-saving techniques.
The Chain of Survival Concept
From the moment an emergency strikes to the point of medical intervention, there’s a sequence of actions that can increase the chances of survival. This sequence is known as the Chain of Survival. It emphasizes early recognition, early CPR, early defibrillation, and advanced care.
What is Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) ?
CPR is a first-line treatment for cardiac arrest. It involves pushing down on a person’s chest to manually circulate blood and oxygenate the brain. CPR is a lifesaving technique that consists of chest compressions and rescue breaths. The chest compressions push blood from the heart through the body, while rescue breaths provide fresh oxygen to the lungs.
Steps to Performing CPR
- Check the Scene: Ensure safety for yourself and the victim.
- Check for Responsiveness: Use the shout-tap-shout method.
- Call for Help: If unresponsive, call 000, 911 or 999 immediately, depending on your country or instruct someone else to do so.
- Position the Person: Lay them on their back on a firm, flat surface.
- Perform Chest Compressions: Place hands centered on the chest and compress at least 2 inches deep at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute.
- Give Rescue Breaths: After 30 compressions, give 2 breaths using the head-tilt/chin-lift technique.
- Continue CPR: Keep performing sets of 30 compressions and 2 breaths until an AED is available or professional help arrives.
What’s Involved in Certified CPR and AED Training?
CPR training can be done online or in person. In the Australia, the nationally recognised course, HLTAID009 Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), covers the knowledge and skills required to provide CPR, manage and assess an emergency situation, use an automatic external defibrillator (AED), understand DRSABCD and the First Aider’s legal responsibilities. Provide CPR is trained and assessed in line with Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) guidelines.
Key Components of Practical CPR and AED Training
- Recognizing Emergencies: It’s crucial to identify when someone needs CPR. For instance, Laronda Marshall, a Miami bus driver, was alerted by a passenger about another passenger’s ill condition. She quickly assessed the situation and found the man unconscious. Her timely intervention prevented a death.
- Effective Breathing Techniques: Whether it’s mouth-to-mouth or using a mask, effective breathing can make all the difference. Courtney Patterson-Manfredi had to rely on her basic CPR training when her 8-month-old son choked on an apple slice. Alone at home, her quick thinking saved her child’s life.
- Using an AED: AEDs are becoming more common in public places. Knowing how to use one can save a life. Jib Street’s heart stopped while playing hockey. Fortunately, an emergency room doctor was also playing and knew how to use an AED, saving Street’s life.
The Need to Stay Up To Date
Completing a certified First Aid course has the great benefit of providing people with confidence in an emergency, but it’s insufficient for a lifetime. Skills and knowledge can fade over time, and in emergencies, any lapse can be risky.
The Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) recommends completing a CPR refresher course every 12 months, while Safe Work Australia advises completing a First Aid refresher course every 3 years.
Here are key reasons to stay up to date:
Without practice, you may forget critical first aid skills. Regular refresher courses keep your skills sharp for swift response during emergencies.
First aid procedures change with medical advancements. Staying informed through refresherl courses ensures you’re using the latest, most effective techniques.
Many Australian businesses mandate having a certified first aid officer. Renewing your certification enhances your job prospects and fulfills workplace legal requirements.
In Australia, FirstAidPro can provide you with an accredited first aid refresher course and Skills Training College provides an accredited CPR refresher course. Both these registered training organisations offer certification upon completion. After successfully completing the courses, participants will receive a nationally recognized certificate, validating their expertise in First Aid or CPR and AED.
First Aid for Severe Allergic Reactions
Anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially fatal allergic reaction, affects a significant portion of Australians, with common triggers being foods like dairy, nuts, wheat, fish, as well as pollen and animal dander. Recognizing and promptly treating anaphylaxis is crucial, which is why advanced first aid courses include anaphylaxis first aid as well as training on how to use adrenaline auto-injectors.
Anaphylaxis Signs and Symptoms
Effective first aid for anaphylaxis hinges on symptom recognition. Since anaphylaxis can simultaneously impact various bodily systems, its manifestations can be grouped based on the affected area. Indicators of anaphylaxis can include:
- The Brain
Confusion, dizziness, light-headedness and fainting
- Respiratory System
Sudden breathing difficulty or shortness of breath, rapid breathing and a persistent cough or wheeze
- Skin Symptoms
Hives, swelling, blue colouration, flushing, itching and rashes
- Gastrointestinal System
Nausea, vomiting, tongue swelling, difficulty swallowing, a weak or hoarse voice and abdominal pain
In essence, CPR certification equips you with vital lifesaving skills. It’s a call to readiness, ensuring you’re prepared to act decisively in a crisis. Stay trained, stay certified, and be the crucial difference in a life-or-death moment. Your hands could be the ones that save a life.