Monday, December 1, 2014

The Power to Save a Life is in Your Hands

Did you know that there is a course designed to simplify CPR? Hands-only CPR helps everyday citizens feel more confident to provide care.

Less than 1/3 of adults who suffer from sudden cardiac arrest get the help they need because people are too afraid that they are going to do something wrong. It is important to know what to do in an emergency and equally as important to have the confidence to act. Hands-only CPR takes minutes to learn and is easy to remember!

Here is a short video to help explain hands-only CPR step by step:

Step 1: Check the scene for safety and see if the person responds to you by tapping them on the shoulder and shouting ‘Are you ok?’

Step 2: Briefly look for signs of breathing.

Step 3: If they don’t respond, call or send someone to call 911.

Step 4: If the person is not breathing or is gasping prepare to give chest compressions.

  • Kneel beside them
  • Place the heel of one hand in the center of the chest
  • Place your other hand over that hand, lacing your fingers together
  • Position your shoulders directly over your hands, keeping your arms straight with your fingers off the chest

Step 5: Push hard and fast at least 2 inches then let the chest rise completely before pressing down again.

Step 6: Keep going until:

  • Person shows an obvious sign of life, like breathing
  • Scene becomes unsafe
  • An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is ready
  • Too exhausted to continue
  • A trained responder takes over

Step 7: Get more training and encourage others to do so!

I would encourage everyone to further their knowledge by taking a First Aid and CPR course. It is recommended that every household has at least one member trained in these skills. Hands only CPR is a great place to start, doing something as simple as chest compressions can help. Compressions keep the blood flowing carrying oxygen which is vital in helping someone stay alive.

‘Be Red Cross Ready’ with hands-only CPR course are available at no cost through your local Red Cross Chapter. Contact us today to schedule a presentation!

Want to know more? Sign up for a First Aid/CPR course in your area and download our free First Aid mobile app!

Korri Faria
AmeriCorps NPRC 2014-2015
Preparedness Coordinator
American Red Cross Central California Region

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