Performing Quality CPR
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is vital to the survival of a cardiac arrest victim. When someone goes into sudden cardiac arrest, their heart is no longer pumping oxygenated blood to the brain and vital organs. CPR circulates oxygenated blood remaining in the body to minimize neurological damage until defibrillation can be administered. It may also convert someone in a state of asystole (flatline) into a rhythm that is “shockable” by an automated external defibrillator (AED), allowing the heart to reset itself. Statistics for best survival rates usually mention “High-Quality CPR”, but what makes CPR high-quality?
When it comes to out-of-hospital bystander CPR, there is one factor which is always variable in each situation – bystander CPR is performed by humans, and humans come in different sizes, capabilities, knowledge, and responses. Even trained EMS professionals may perform tasks differently depending on their fatigue, training, and the particulars of a situation (environment, trauma level, on-lookers, etc.).
To define “High-Quality CPR” for teens and adults, there are certain courses of action identified by the American Heart Association’s 2015 CPR & ECC Guidelines to maximize the benefits of CPR, and they are simple:
Compressions at a rate of 100-120 per minute
Compressions at a depth of 2” – 2.4”
Full recovery of chest after each compression
Minimal interruptions to compressions
In a nutshell: “Press the chest – fast and deep” until an AED is utilized (and again after, if necessary), EMS arrives, or the person shows signs of life.
Note rescue breaths are not included in this list. The AHA (American Heart Association) does recommend rescue breaths at a rate of 30 compressions to 2 breaths when the rescuer has been trained and is confident in the technique, so interruptions to the compressions are no more than 10 seconds (and still stresses the importance of breaths when performing CPR on children and infants), but has recognized “hands-only” CPR is an effective alternative when the rescuer is not confident in their ability to provide ventilations or is untrained. Hands-only CPR also removes the potentially uncomfortable step of placing one’s mouth onto the mouth of a stranger if no mask is available.
Never hesitate to attempt CPR, regardless of experience or skill level. Someone in cardiac arrest is already clinically dead, and you cannot make them any more dead! Any CPR is better than no CPR, and if there is an AED handy, it should be retrieved and deployed as quickly as possible for the victim’s best chance for survival.
Remember: “Press the chest – fast and deep!”
Keeping cool when the heat is on
The hottest days of summer are upon us. Depending on where you live, you may be seeing temperatures in excess of 100°F! While most of us can withstand the heat for short periods of time with our natural bodily cooling mechanisms like sweating and evaporation, for some with cardiac conditions this time of year can be particularly challenging to heart health. Medications for heart conditions or a heart which is functioning at an impaired level can lead to heat induced complications. Here are five ways to be cool this summer:
Water is your best bet for quenching your thirst, regardless of what those commercials for sodas, sports drinks, juices, and beer tell you! Drinking water keeps you hydrated without the extra calories from sugars, harmful chemicals from artificial sweeteners, or the dehydrating effects of caffeine added to other beverages. Think about it – the adult human body, on average, is about 60% water. It is the one almost universal necessity for most life forms on the planet.
Why is this especially crucial for those with heart conditions? When your heart is not functioning at full capacity, or is being slowed by medications such as beta blockers, its ability to pump enough blood to the skin to produce sweat diminishes. Without sweat on your skin, there is no evaporation to facilitate cooling. When adequately hydrated, your body is better able to regulate its temperature, taking strain off your heart. Ask your doctor how much water he recommends you take in every day, as too much water can also be an issue depending on your medications and particular heart condition.
In fact, the recent emphasis on drinking more water has caused an increase in a condition known as hyponatremia. In a nutshell, if you drink more water than your kidneys can handle, the electrolyte concentration in your blood becomes diluted and your sodium levels drop dangerously. Extreme sports enthusiasts who drink water constantly (especially marathon runners) have succumbed to this condition which has a range of unpleasant symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, headache, confusion, fatigue, irritability, muscle weakness, cramps and, in the worst cases, seizures, coma, and death.
Water is beneficial in ways other than simple hydration as well. It can help cool you if you have difficulty sweating due to medications by placing a cool, moist towel under the arms, on your wrists, on the back of your neck or in the groin area. A cool bath or shower can also help bring body temperature down.
- Cool Air
The reason we feel most uncomfortable in hot humid weather is because once the humidity in the air reaches levels over 75%, it becomes more difficult for the sweat on our skin to evaporate and it gets harder to effectively cool ourselves. Air conditioning works in two ways – one, it (obviously) cools the air; and two, it dries the air. If you do not have air conditioning at your home, find someplace that does – especially in extreme heat with high humidity during peak heat hours of the day (typically from noon until 3 p.m.) Movie theaters, malls, grocery stores, the library, or a friend’s house with air conditioning are just a few options. Some communities offer “cooling stations” – businesses or community centers which are air conditioned and open to the public to come in and escape the extreme heat. Some are even staffed with medical personnel.
Fans are a good last-ditch effort, but they only work to a certain extent, especially once the air temperature is higher than body temperature. You may be moving the air and helping with evaporation to a degree, but fans generally do little but blow hot air around once the thermometer tops 100°. Fans are effective at helping to circulate air conditioned air, however, and can help move cool air around a home, especially if you are using a window unit.
- Change of Routine
Many of us look forward to the summer months when we can get outdoors and exercise, work in our garden or enjoy other outdoor activities. If you typically do these activities in the afternoon during spring and fall, switching to early morning or late evening routines in the summer, when the sun is not at its strongest, is your best choice. Avoid being out between noon and 3 pm if you can. The sun comes up sooner and hangs around longer so you have plenty of hours in the day. Oh, and use sunscreen! Always! Wear a hat and sunglasses for further protection.
Don’t push yourself. Take frequent breaks if you find yourself becoming fatigued or short of breath and get another drink of water while you rest!
- Buddy Up and Check Up!
If you go out in the heat, take a friend and make sure your cell phone is charged and you are carrying enough water for both of you, especially if you plan to do something you are not normally used to doing. Too many times we overdo it, especially when trying something new. Days over 100° are generally not the best times to take up a new sport, so stick to activities you are confident you can do comfortably and take your time! If you can’t take someone with you, make sure someone knows what you are doing, where you are going and when to expect you back.
Maybe it’s not you who has difficulty in the heat, but a friend or family member. Elderly folks tend to have a harder time coping with the heat and, with many on fixed incomes, they are afraid to spend the extra money to run their air conditioning. Check in on them regularly! Make sure they are eating and drinking properly, taking the medications they need to take, and staying cool.
- Keep It Light!
Heavy, protein-laden meals require more blood to digest. Have you ever noticed your heart pounding a little harder after a big steak dinner? By eating smaller, lighter meals more frequently, and including foods heavy on water content like juicy fruits (oranges, pineapple, melon, and berries are good choices) and crisp vegetables (cucumbers, celery, lettuces, bell peppers and tomatoes all contain more than 90% water), you will give your heart a break and stay hydrated. If you are exercising or working in the heat, try foods rich in potassium to prevent cramping – bananas, tomatoes, lima beans, and sweet potatoes fit the bill nicely.
Light also applies to clothing. Lightweight loose fabrics such as cotton and linen allow sweat to evaporate more easily and lightly colored clothing reflects heat rather than absorbing it. Avoid dark, heavy synthetic materials and tight clothing for maximum comfort and cooling efficiency.
The bottom line is to know your limits, talk with your doctor about recommendations based on your particular medications and condition, listen to what your body is telling you, and use common sense when temperatures reach extreme levels. Be cool!
The Long Term Effects of SCA
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) survivors understand the preciousness of life – that one moment you can feel perfectly fine and the next wake up in the ICU a few days (or weeks!) later with no idea you have been through SCA, CPR, and defibrillation, listening to the stories your loved ones and hospital staff tell you about your ordeal. And that is only if you are mentally cognizant. Some survivors suffer severe neurological damage as the result of a lack of oxygen to their brain during sudden cardiac arrest and face a long road of therapy to regain a “normal” life. It’s a frightening prospect. So what is a “normal” life for the majority of SCA survivors?
Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)
Many people who have been through SCA receive an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). An ICD is a device placed just under the skin in the chest with leads connected to a patient’s heart. It performs the same function as an AED (automated external defibrillator). ICDs monitor the heart’s rhythm constantly, act as a pacemaker when the heart goes out of rhythm, and automatically apply a shock to the heart when it detects fibrillation. An ICD delivers immediate treatment without delay.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is most often associated with soldiers returning from combat situations, but it can also be found in persons who have suffered profound dangerous experiences or trauma in other ways. Car accidents, domestic violence, and severe health issues such as sudden cardiac arrest are examples. In the case of PTSD associated with SCA, there is a debilitating fear of a recurrence which keeps patients from enjoying their everyday activities since they do not know when it might happen again.
General Anxiety and Depression
Not as severe as PTSD, sometimes the patient will feel general anxiety. Those patients with ICDs report anxiety around the possibility of feeling the shock from the device, which would indicate they once again could have been in a sudden cardiac arrest situation, not to mention the discomfort associated with the shock. Depression is also sometimes present, although it is usually reported in the first 6-12 months after resuscitation, and largely as a result of the loss of memory and the frustrations from coping with the physical and neurological stresses of recovery to varying degrees.
Once it has been determined what caused a patient’s sudden cardiac arrest, there are several options for procedures and drug treatment.
Procedures may include:
Corrective heart surgery – if your sudden cardiac arrest was brought on by a structural heart defect, your cardiologist may recommend specific surgeries to address your particular concerns with an eye toward preventing further complications.
Medications are almost always prescribed for long-term care.
Doctors use various anti-arrhythmic drugs for emergency or long-term treatment of arrhythmias or potential arrhythmia complications. A class of medications called beta blockers is commonly used in people at risk for sudden cardiac arrest. Other possible drugs include angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, calcium channel blockers or a drug called amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone).1
Side effects will be discussed when you meet with your doctor to decide the best options based on the underlying condition which caused the sudden cardiac arrest to occur and to potentially prevent further incidences.
While exact statistics on life expectancy after SCA are difficult to find due to the sheer number of victims each year, it is estimated “More than 80 percent of SCA victims who are discharged home from the hospital live at least one year. More than half live another five years after resuscitation. Most people who survive SCA can return to their previous level of functioning.”2
Modern science and medical techniques have made it possible to survive cardiac arrest. As the public becomes more aware of the signs, symptoms, and treatments for SCA, early intervention with CPR and defibrillation should be able to save more lives and increase the likelihood of a viable life afterward. The sooner a victim of SCA receives CPR and defibrillation, the better their chances for neurological recovery. While the underlying problems which caused the SCA would still be present, at least patients would have a chance to address those problems and continue on.here.
Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke
As we celebrated summer solstice on 21 June, we are now officially in the summer season.
Hopefully you’ll be able to enjoy some sun, but it’s important to be aware of the danger of heat as it can cause heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
Although the sun can be the main cause of a hot working environment, heat can come from many other sources such as machinery and equipment found in bakeries, factories, laundries or a restaurant kitchen.
In hot and humid conditions, sweating can cause the body to gradually lose salt and water. This can lead to someone experiencing heat exhaustion.
As heat exhaustion develops you may notice the following symptoms:
- headache, dizziness and confusion
- loss of appetite and nausea
- sweating, with pale and clammy skin
- cramps in the arms, legs or abdomen
- rapid breathing.
If you notice these symptoms, you can help the person with some simple, straightforward actions.
- Help them to a cool, shady place and get them to lie down.
Raise and support their legs to improve blood flow to the brain.
- Give them plenty of water to sip.
If you have isotonic drinks or oral rehydration sachets, these will help to restore the body's salt levels.
- Monitor them.
- If their condition worsens, call 999 for emergency medical help.
Heatstroke is a serious condition that occurs when the body becomes dangerously over-heated. It is usually caused by prolonged exposure to heat.
There may be:
- headache, dizziness and discomfort
- restlessness and confusion
- hot, flushed and dry skin
- rapid deterioration in the level of response
- body temperature above 40 degrees Celsius.
If you notice any of these signs of heatstroke, you should not delay in carrying out the following actions.
- Call 911 for emergency medical help.
As quickly as possible, move the person to a cool, shaded place and remove outer layers of clothing.
- Cool them down.
Wrap them in a cold, damp sheet until their body temperature starts to fall. Keep the sheet wet by continually pouring cold water over it. If you don't have a sheet, you can sponge them with cold water or fan them to bring down their temperature.
- Monitor them while you are waiting for help to arrive.
Heat-related illnesses and a wide range of other topics are covered in our first aid at work course
If you are having a stroke it is important to get immediate medical attention—Call 9-1-1. The sooner you get treatment the better. Immediate treatment may help minimize the long-term effects of stroke and improve recovery outcomes.
Can Stroke Be Treated?
There are several treatment options for stroke depending on the cause of your stroke. If you are having an ischemic stroke or a stroke that is caused by a blood clot your healthcare professional may recommend drug treatment.
There is only one Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved drug treatment for acute ischemic stroke. Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is given via intravenous therapy (IV) and works by dissolving the clot and improving blood flow to the part of the brain being deprived of blood flow. tPA should be given within three hours (and up to 4.5 hours in certain eligible patients)of the time symptoms first started.
Some ischemic strokes are treated with small mechanical devices that remove or break up blood clots. If clot-busting drugs are ruled out, another option one of the many FDA approved mechanical devices. A surgeon inserts a small mechanical device into the blocked artery using a thin tube. Once inside, the tool traps the clot, and either breaks it up or the surgeon pulls it out of the brain, reopening the blocked blood vessel in the process.
A hemorrhagic stroke (sometimes called a bleed) occurs if an artery in your brain leaks blood or ruptures (breaks open). The first steps in treating a hemorrhagic stroke are to find the cause of bleeding in the brain and then control it. Some of the options for treatments include surgical clips or coils inserted in aneurisms (weaknesses in the blood vessel wall), controlling high blood pressure, and surgery to remove the bleeding vessel and blood that has spilled into the brain.
Medical advances have greatly improved survival rates and recovery from stroke during the last decade. Your chances of survival and recovery outcomes are even better if the stroke is identified and treated immediately.
Heel compressions quadruple the number of bystanders who can perform chest compressions for 10 minutes.
The objective of the study is to evaluate whether chest compressions using the heel provide a more effective method than manual compressions for bystanders.
This is a cross-sectional observational comparison study where each subject acted as his or her own control. A 49-person cohort whose age distribution approximated that of sudden cardiac arrest victims were asked to perform 10 minutes of 5-cm manual compressions on a cardiopulmonary resuscitation manikin at 100 compressions per minute. The compression rate and the endurance of each subject were recorded. The same subject was then asked to perform 10 minutes of heel compressions at the same depth and rate.
Sixteen percent of the cohort performed compliant manual compressions for 10 minutes vs 65% using heel compressions. Twenty-four percent of the subjects were not heavy enough to get compliant depth with manual vs 2% with heel compressions, and 6% could not get down on the floor to attempt manual compressions.
Most cardiac arrests occur in private residences. If there is a witness, his or her age usually approximates that of the victim. Heel compressions are useful in situations where a lone rescuer cannot get down on the floor, cannot compress the chest to guideline depth because of an infirmity or lack of weight, or becomes too tired to continue manual compressions. Heel compressions significantly increase the bystander population's ability to provide effective, uninterrupted compressions until EMS arrival.
Why CPR and First Aid Training Can Be a Great Resume Addition
It may seem intimidating when putting together a resume and thinking of the most valuable aspects of your background to include. Employers like to see a variety of experiences that you can bring to the table and having a CPR certification can set you apart from the rest of the candidates, no matter what industry you work in. A certification in CPR and/or First Aid can tell an employer that you are willing to step up in an emergency situation, and that you value education and are willing to go the extra mile.
Why is CPR training important?
CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and is a process that is done to provide a person suffering from cardiac arrest the chance to live. It is imperative to have someone present that can immediately react to the situation and start the CPR resuscitation process. Brain damage can occur in as little as four minutes after a person has stopped breathing, so immediate response is critical. The first step if the victim is unresponsive is to Call 911 and get an AED followed by checking to see if the person is breathing. If the victim is not breathing chest compressions should then be started immediately. After 30 compressions provide two rescue breath followed by repeating the 30 chest compressions and 2 rescue breaths until help arrives or the victim is revived. If an AED arrives turn it on and follow the directions, keeping the CPR unless the AED tells you to stop.
If you have a current certification and it is expiring soon, then you should consider having it renewed in order to keep your skills and knowledge up to date. CPR courses can change and alter over time, therefore what you learned even last year as the right technique may not best serve you in a situation now. With new research and information constantly being discovered, techniques for adults and infants are always evolving. If you don’t have a current CPR certification, it is in your best interest to acquire one soon.
Why can CPR and First Aid training benefit your resume?
Response and reaction time are different for everyone, and it is hard to tell how you would react to an emergency situation without undergoing any training or having gone through an emergency situation. Taking a CPR course in your local area or online can open your eyes to the type of reaction you might initially make, and how to train yourself to get into the proper mindset and take immediate action with a clear mind. An employee with qualified training in CPR and First Aid can provide the critical thinking skills necessary for an unpredictable situation, and the proper techniques that can save lives.
As a candidate interviewing for a new position, you can tell your potential employer that you are confident and able to react quickly in any given difficult situation. Even if there isn’t a physical emergency, you have the training needed to think clearly and quickly in an immediate struggle. A CPR certification can prove that you take pride in educating yourself, even when not a requirement, and in skills and knowledge that one day could prove to be the difference between life and death. Most employees wouldn’t think to undergo this type of education, and it can show an employer that you are willing to go above and beyond all the rest.
CPR and First Aid training provides the basic knowledge and skills regarding the potential life saving techniques for all walks of life, all ages, and all levels of health. No one can ever be sure that a heart problem won’t affect them, no matter their diet and exercise, therefore a CPR certification holds a high importance whenever and wherever there are multiple people around.
If you are in need of Dallas CPR training, please give Texas Onsite CPR a call today at 817-992-0585.
There are a number of reasons that keep people from learning CPR and getting the necessary training to perform it effectively. CPR, which is short for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is an emergency process that can be done by anyone to help save someone’s life or increase the chance of survivability until professional help can arrive. CPR is performed on anyone who has stopped breathing or whose heart has stopped.
1. Not Sure Where to Get Training
There are a lot of ways to learn how to do CPR, from either on-site or online courses. The most common type of course is on-site training taught by an instructor with a group of other individuals. Some training centers, like ours at Texas OnSite CPR, offer weekly training classes with individual CPR manikins, CPR pocket masks, and certification cards. We also offer a blended online certification, where you can learn about CPR online and verify your skills with an instructor.
All that you need to do to learn CPR is to give us a call at (817) 992-0585, leave us a message on our website, or search online for local CPR training in order to find classes near you.
2. Not Sure What It Will Cost
Pricing for CPR classes and certifications can vary depending on where you live, the time of the year, and how booked the class is. The cost will also depend on how in-depth the class will go. Some providers may offer more or less information than other training centers. Regardless of the price of a course, it’s important to remember that the skills you are learning can impact your life and the lives of others immediately.
The price of our class for an individual is just $45… which is well worth the investment considering that knowing how to do CPR can make a huge difference in whether or not bystander or loved one will survive.
3. Afraid That CPR Will Be Difficult
Many people are afraid of the difficulty of learning and performing CPR. The good news is that CPR is one of the easier classes for an individual to learn, it is relatively cheap, and it can make a huge difference in your life when a victim needs it most. Most classes can be completed in hours while the education and practice you get can last for years or a lifetime. It’s easy to take another class when you need a refresher.
You shouldn’t feel afraid of learning CPR because not only is it very easy, but you will also be taught by trained professionals to do it properly if you take a class.
4. Afraid of Not Doing CPR Correctly
One of the biggest fears about knowing how to do CPR in the heat of the moment is not being able to do it correctly. Whether you are by yourself with the victim or surrounded by other people, this fear can be crippling to someone who hasn’t done CPR. The quickest way to get over this fear is to realize that if nobody does anything, the victim may die. It’s better to take some action, even if it’s not done perfectly, than not doing anything at all.
Ultimately, if you never learn how to do CPR, then you may not be able to help someone’s life when they need it most. Situations that require CPR to keep someone alive can happen at any time without warning. Knowing how to do this basic procedure can increase the likelihood that people around you will survive. Make sure to get certified for CPR and learn how to do it properly by contacting Texas OnSite CPR to find out more.
Almost 400,000 cases of sudden cardiac arrest occur every year, and nearly 88% of those cases occur at home. Less than 8% of people who experience cardiac arrest outside a hospital setting will survive. Effective CPR is only performed on sudden cardiac arrest victims 32% of the time, even though it can double or triple the victim’s chance of surviving.
If you learn how to effectively perform CPR, you could save a life—possibly the life of a loved one. Everyone should know how to do CPR, but here are the most important groups of people who absolutely need to know how to effectively perform CPR.
Parents, Daycare Workers, & Other Caretakers
Although children will generally not suffer from cardiac arrest, a variety of other situations can arise that require caretakers to perform CPR on children. If you are a parent, a nanny, a babysitter, a daycare worker, or another person who spends a lot of time around young children, you absolutely need CPR training. First aid training would also be incredibly beneficial to this group of people.
More and more school districts are requiring that all school personnel are fully trained and certified in CPR and first aid. All school staff members, including teachers, administrators, bus drivers, coaches, and more, should be trained in CPR and first aid. School nurses are equipped to handle serious health issues, but immediate attention is often necessary with children, and all school personnel should be prepared to handle an emergency.
If you work in an office setting where people generally have very low activity levels, you should receive CPR training. While many occurrences of sudden cardiac arrest occur at home, a large number occur in office settings as well. Ask your boss about company-wide CPR training or consider getting a group of co-workers together to get trained and certified.
All Medical Personnel
It should go without saying that absolutely everyone in the medical field should be certified in CPR. If your company wishes to participate in group training, or if you wish to send newly-hired individuals to be trained by themselves, Texas OnSite CPR has classes available.
High School Students
As a way to improve the lives of all citizens, Texas is now requiring that high school students receive CPR training before they graduate from high school. Starting this year, the requirement will allow high school students to receive extensive training and certification in CPR, first aid, and more, making our future work force more prepared to handle medical emergencies and contribute more to the community.
Personal trainers, gym managers, and all staff members at gyms should be trained in CPR and first aid. Overexertion and misuse of equipment can often lead to cardiac arrest, shortness of breath, and injuries, so having staff members that are qualified to handle a variety of emergencies and common problems is vital to the success of any gym.
If you fall under one of these categories, you need to be certified in CPR. Even if you are not part of one of these groups, it is in your best interest and the best interest of those around to that you attain your CPR certification. For more information about Texas OnSite CPR’s training and certification programs, check out our website at texasonsitecpr.com or call us at 817-992-0585.