Yes, give yourself CPR – get training
I’ve been teaching CPR for 15 years and I have some YES or NO questions for you:
- When someone is coughing and choking, do you hit them on the back?
Answer: No, medical directors state that it is counterproductive. (You’re right – we used to train it, but it’s changed)
- If a 3 year old is choking, do you stand them on a chair so you can perform the abdominal thrust?
Answer: No, they could fall and be injured. You kneel down behind them for the thrust.
- If someone insists they are OK and insists that you DO NOT call 911, do you comply and not call?
Answer: You do not need permission to call 911 (only permission to touch someone’s body to give care). Call !
- If an elderly person is coughing and coughing, is alarmed to be choking, do you give them the abdominal thrust?
Answer: No. If they are coughing, the body is trying to expel it. You only take action when they are utterly silent; no air is getting in or out; the body isn’t doing it.
- If someone is woozy and not feeling well, do you encourage them to walk slowly and breathe deeply?
Answer: No. Encourage them to lie down – they may lose consciousness and FALL down. Then there are very likely added injuries.
- If a very pregnant woman is choking, do you do nothing because the abdominal thrust will injure the baby inside her?
Answer: There is a special choking technique to use for people in wheelchairs and pregnant women because you can’t thrust on their abdomen.
CPR – get training
Take just a moment and imagine three people you love dearly. Do you see the three faces of those loved ones?
Would you give two hours of time to save their life? Yes? That’s what a CPR/choking skills class takes – two hours. For such a beautiful reason.
Statistics show that you are most likely to help someone you love who is choking, or who is unconscious and not breathing, or who is experiencing an altered state of consciousness.
Perhaps you know that an altered state of consciousness, confusion, low responsiveness to your questions could mean an allergic reaction, or possibly a diabetic emergency, or maybe a stroke. Can you tell?
You don’t need to know what is the problem – you only need to do one thing, now. You have Recognized An Emergency – so you call 911. So much of helping loved ones is to be alert and SEE that something is wrong.
911 Dispatchers are there for you!
Do you envision 911 happens like this? Step 1: You call 911 Step 2: You hear sirens as the truck arrives
Nope, this is what happens…
Step 1: You call 911 Step 2: Dispatch talks to you and helps you Step 3: You give care in that vital Window of Time Step 4: You hear sirens as the truck arrives
Dispatch is amazing. They are there for you – to help you stay calm if you are very frightened. They focus in on the questions to ask about the person in trouble. That information helps you take action – that information helps them convey to the en route response team what they need to know.
What if they say to you, “Do you know how to give CPR compressions?”
What if you say, “No, no I don’t…”
You don’t want that feeling! Scared. Helpless.
I (and all health care agencies) want you to be able to say, “Yes, yes, I do!”
You’re Smart. For 2016, you are going to do it, right? CPR – get training!
For 15 years, I have taught a youth (age 11+) Babysitting Safety/CPR class. We work with dolls to diaper and burp, first aid, spending quality time, the choking skill and, yes, full CPR training. I tell my young students as we begin class that I commend them for taking the 4 hour course to get trained before they babysit. Many parents – and maybe the parents they will babysit for – are not trained. Yes, the parents love their little precious children – but they STILL don’t get trained! As babysitters, I tell them they may be more able to save a young life than those parents are!
If someone gets trained, there is a presence of confidence and security that I believe is priceless. That person, in their heart and mind, has a background sense of being empowered to respond, to be able to save a life.
I consider it similar to knowing how to change a tire on your vehicle, as a possible example. You may never have to change a tire but someone taught you and there is a quiet, silent confidence in the back of your mind of “I know what to do if I need to change a tire!”. Nice feeling, that confidence that you are empowered to act.
Changing a tire? Small potatoes.
Saving a loved one’s life? Priceless.
Jean Lesmeister, 15 year Babysitting CPR, Adult CPR & First Aid Instructor
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