Lesson that could one day save lives
Published 9:45 am Thursday, February 16, 2017
Not everyone can be a doctor, but there are some life-saving techniques we should all know.
One of those skills is cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR.
“Ninety percent of cardiac arrest happens outside of a hospital,” EMS coordinator/supervisor Daryl Carson said, and in an effort to instruct those interested in learning how to provide what could be a life-saving skill, on Wednesday Merit Health River Region’s Healthy Women’s Lunch program focused on how and when to administer CPR.
More than 60 women turned out for the event, which featured a “Red Hat” fashion show and the CPR discussion and demonstration.
ER clinical manager and emergency department director at RRMH Claudia Fridge said the first thing one needs to do if they are at home or in a store or restaurant and someone collapses is to call 911.
Then someone else should begin administering CPR to the individual who has collapsed — that is if a pulse cannot be found.
For adults, Fridge said it is best to feel for a heartbeat at the carotid artery located in the neck of an adult and at the brachial artery, located at the inner elbow of a child.
Once it is determined there is no pulse, begin the chests compressions.
Carson said to locate the appropriate area for compressions, run your hand up the collapsed individual’s chest and find their rib cage. Once found, put one hand on top of the other at the end of the person’s breastbone and begin compressing fast.
“You want to do 100 to 120 compressions a minute, and you want to do that for a couple of minutes, Fridge said, “and for adults you want to compress at least two inches into their chest.”
For a child, the number of compressions will be the same, but one will only compress one-and-a-half inches into the chest, and instead of using two hands, one will just use one hand. For an infant, two fingers should be used.
“When you do the compressions, you want the chest to come all the way back up so the heart will refill,” Carson said, and because blood stays oxygenated anywhere from five to 10 minutes after a person collapses, it is not imperative to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Following the CPR demonstration from Carson and Fridge, the pair invited any woman in the group to try their hand at administering the life-saving technique.
Because administering CPR can become exhausting, Carson suggested that after the first two minutes of compressing, if there are others there to help trade off.
During the informative program, Carson and Fridge also demonstrated how to use an Automated External Defibrillator/ AED.
The Healthy Woman Lunch program is a free program for women of all ages. Lunch is provided and reservations are required.