Knowing how to save a life is so important. I have take CPR classes in the past. My husband and I became CPR certified when I was pregnant with our first child but that was almost 10 years ago. I’ve been wanting to take a refresher class for a while so I was grateful when I was offered the chance to take the One Beat CPR training class. One Beat started in 1999 by founder Lon Rosen. What makes One Beat’s classes are unique because all of their instructors are clinically experienced either as fire fighters, paramedics, or police officers. Their goal is to make South Florida a better, safer place to live, work, and play.
What really struck me from the class was to NOT BE SCARED. There is no such thing as doing it wrong. If you do SOMETHING, it is better than doing NOTHING. If a person has no pulse and isn’t breathing and you do NOTHING they will die. If you do something at least they will have a chance at life. The instructor, Brian Schnell, made it a point to tell us that sometimes even if you do everything right, it doesn’t always work- even for medical personnel- so don’t let that be a reason to not try.
Here are some important things I learned from the class.
This is in no way meant to substitute attending a certified CPR class.
~For every minute with no pulse, you lose 10% chance at life.
~If you defibrillate within the first 2 minutes of the person having no pulse, they have a 90% chance of being resuscitated.
~Florida Sunshine Law/Good Samaritan Law- As long as you do basically what you were taught, you can’t be held financially or legally responsible for what happens when you do CPR.
~Unless it is a family member, you do not have to do the breath part of CPR if you do not have a barrier. A barrier is a mask with a 1 way valve. You do not have to put yourself at risk by doing mouth to mouth without a barrier. There is between 8-12 minutes of oxygenated air in the lungs and just doing chest compressions can keep the person alive until help arrives.
~If someone is grabbing their throat and can’t speak, they are choking. Find their belly button with your left hand, make a fist, and push up and in rapidly to try to dislodge the stuck food. Repeat until the food comes out or the person passes out. If they pass out, start CPR.
~MOST IMPORTANT THING– First assign someone to call 911. If no one is around, you call first and then start CPR. If no one is around and the victim is a child, do 1 minute of CPR and then call 911 before resuming CPR.
~CPR classes used to teach ABC (airway, breathing, chest) but now the new way is CAB
Check for pulse
Airway (tilt head back to open airway)
Breath (look, listen, and feel- if breath doesn’t go in then the person is blocked ie, choked)
Next do chest compressions- Heel of your palm in the center of the chest, interlace your fingers, lock your elbows, and push down until you hit bottom. Do 30 compressions and then 2 breaths. Do 5 sets and take a quick breather if necessary and repeat until help arrives or someone else can switch off with you. Once you start CPR YOU are the LIFE SUPPORT for that person.
~Only use 2 fingers for chest compressions on a baby below 1 year old. Use 1 hand on a child up to 55 pounds.
~Not everyone who is unconscious needs CPR! Check for a pulse. The person could have had a seizure and just needs to wake up.
In addition to CPR, we were also shown how to use a defibrillator. Thankfully I had never seen an AED machine (automated external defibrillator) in use before. It is really very easy as the machine basically talks you through what to do, where to put the pads, etc. and will only shock the person if it is necessary. 70% off all heart attacks are fibrillations (like twitching of the heart). The defibrillator will shock a fibrillating heart back into rhythm, if it is in fibrillation. If the heart is in flatline, the defibrillator will not administer a shock. Many public places now have AED machines. Start CPR and send someone to get the AED machine if there is one. There are inserts available for most AED machines for babies, children, and adults so make sure to use the correct insert.
After class we had a chance to practice our newly learned skills. I hope I never have to use what I learned but I am so grateful that I now know what to do if the situation should arise. If you haven’t taken a CPR class I strongly suggest taking one. If you are in the South Florida area, make sure to check out One Beat CPR classes.
Disclosure- I received CPR training to facilitate my post but I did not receive any other compensation. All opinions are 100% my own.