First aid and CPR training can be fun and entertaining. The benefits of becoming trained in either course helps you become employed, can help you get that position and can prepare you to save a life in the event of a emergency such as a diabetic emergency. However, after taking a first aid or CPR course it can be difficult to remember all those little things the instructors taught you. This page is designed to help you remember the top 5 things to remember from first aid and CPR courses.
1. Don’t Hesitate to Call EMS
Instructors will always tell the candidates to contact EMS whenever they are in doubt of any situation. Most instructors will say that it is the most forgot component of any rescuer scenario. It’s never a bad idea to have a second opinion from a trained EMS phone operator and from the paramedics when they arrive. Remember, its your tax dollars at work and you pay for this service. The paramedics will never tell you or the victim it was a bad idea or that you shouldn’t have contacted 9-1-1. The last thing you want is for the situation to suddenly turn worse and then have to wait for EMS when they could have already been there.
2. Don’t always assume a unconscious victim needs CPR.
Instructors always see this scenario. The rescuers quickly come to a scene assume the victim is unconscious and immediately start CPR. Rescuers need to remember to check for breathing first. Chest compressions and ventilations for a breathing victim can have serious negative effects. Take your time during a rescue. How often do you seen paramedics run? Stay calm and follow the rights steps. Use the Red Cross Check – Call – Care system whenever possible.
3. Check for Dangers
Again, this is similar to the previous step. Take your time when doing a rescue. The first thing any rescuer should do for any CPR or first aid situation is check the scene. If the scene isn’t safe and the rescuer rushes in he or she will likely become another victim and make the situation worse. You can’t help if you’re a victim. Take your time and check for hazards and evaluate the scene.
4. Press fast and press hard for CPR.
If you follow the CPR shown in the old 90’s sitcom “Baywatch” then you are likely doing it wrong. The chest compressions in that show were at the pace of about 60 compressions a minute. Today, instructors teach candidates to do CPR compressions at a rate of at least 100 compressions per minute. Watching “Baywatch” is a good start, but it is no substitute for a good hands on CPR course. CPR is not pretty and requires the rescuer to push almost as fast as possible and likely as hard as possible. When doing CPR, push fast and push hard! If you aren’t pushing hard enough and fast enough you are wasting yours and the victims time.
5. You must do proper landmarking for CPR.
The victim’s heart is about the size of his or her clenched fist. Its not that big. The point of chest compressions is to compress the heart. If you are not compressing the chest in the right location you are wasting time. The heel of the rescuers hand needs to be in the centre of the chest between the nipples. Anywhere else won’t do much. Learn more at a Red Cross first aid or CPR course.