Handling A Medical Emergency

January 16, 2013Comments Off on Handling A Medical Emergency

If someone suddenly falls beside you unconscious, can you honestly say that you would know what to do? Most people would probably give a negative answer. After all, not everyone of us had actually undergone a CPR training program. If you belong to this group of people, what are the things that you need to keep in mind?

  1. If someone is already attending to the unconscious victim, your best bet would be to dial 9-1-1 and report the emergency. However, if there is no one around attending to the victim, you might have to start CPR while dialing 9-1-1. Keep in mind that, in cases of unconscious victims, each minute that vital organs are not able to get the needed oxygen, the probability of the victim not making it through, increases.
  2. When doing chest compressions, make sure that you look first for the end of the sternum. From the end, measure two inches up. This is where you need to place the heel of your palm. Each of your compression should be at least 5 centimeters in depth. You would need to make as much as 100 compressions per minute. Just like what most professionals would say, the best way to ensure that your timing is correct is to go along the beat of Stayin’ Alive.
  3. If you are within any establishment, check if there is an AED unit available. Since most states have made it mandatory to have an AED on hand, it would be impossible for you to be in a place where there is no AED around. The AED can help you assess the condition of the victim or patient. It would also help you decide whether there is a need for electrical shocks or not. The unit can also prove to be useful especially for those who do not have background in how proper CPR is done. This is because most AED units come with both visual and audio prompts that help guide the user on what to do next.
  4. If there is no AED unit around, and you are not sure how CPR is done, the best that you can do is administer hands-only CPR. This process means that you have to continuously administer chest compressions until (1) you are already tired and there is someone in the crowd who can take your place, or (2) the paramedics have arrived. In some cases, although this is very rare, compressions can help revive the victim. If this happens, make sure that you bring the victim to the hospital in order to assess his or her condition.
  5. Keep in mind that the hands-only or compression-only CPR can only be used for adults and children. For pregnant women as well as infants, a different set of CPR procedure is to be used. This is because the pressure involved in traditional chest compressions and CPR may not be suited for the small bodies of infants.

Make sure that you are not caught unaware. One way that you can do this is by undergoing a CPR training and certification program being offered by Citywide CPR.

Closing the Gap with an AED

January 14, 2013Comments Off on Closing the Gap with an AED

In most cases, when a person witnesses a medical emergency, the first thing that he or she would typically do is to get in touch with emergency services by dialing 911. After this, the waiting game begins. It is during this critical waiting moment that the difference between life and death can be clearly spelled out.

Not many people may know it but it is the first 5 minutes that is crucial to the victim’s survival. If left on his or her own during those precious minutes, there is a possibility that he or she might no longer be able to make it through. What’s more, if ever the victim does make it through, the possibility that he or she would suffer from irreversible brain damage grows exponentially. It is, therefore, no surprise that the American Heart Association has made a number of changes in the guidelines that deal with how an unconscious person should be handled. One glaring difference between the previous guidelines and the new one is the order of the procedure. If, in the past, the responder is expected to check the airway first before administering artificial breaths and then doing chest compressions; today, that responder would have to do the chest compressions first before checking the airway and administering artificial breaths. The new set of guidelines also has a specific procedure for those who are not familiar with the whole CPR process or simply are not confident about their CPR knowledge. For these type of responders, all they have to do is administer chest compressions until paramedics arrive or until he or she grows tired. In the case of the latter, the responder has to make sure that there is someone who can take his or her place. Another thing that the responder would have to keep in mind is that the chest compressions should be at least 5 cm deep and should number to about a hundred in a minute. The best way to do this without losing rhythm is to time the compressions to “Stayin’ Alive”. A better way would be to seek the help of an AED.

AEDs, or Automated Electronic Defibrillators, are electronic portable devices that can help a responder not only assess the situation but administer the right solution. With an AED on hand, a responder would be able to detect whether there is a need for defibrillation or if CPR alone would suffice. Keep in mind that not all unconscious victims are suffering from heart attack, and even if they are, not all would call for electric shocks. Most AED units also come with visual as well as audio prompts that could guide even the most amateur of responders on what they should do in order to help revive the victim.

Have your own AED program in place. If you do not have the chops to come up with one, you can get the help of Citywide CPR. Citywide CPR can help you come up with an AED program management in place as well as help you and your people undergo CPR training and certification.

An Introduction to AED

January 10, 2013Comments Off on An Introduction to AED

When it comes to the top causes of deaths in the US, very few medical conditions can top heart diseases. Based on statistics, in the US alone, the said condition has been named as the primary cause for the death of about one American per 33 seconds.

One particular heart disease that has been silently targeting a number of Americans is the Sudden Cardiac Arrest, or SCA. Also known as the circulatory arrest, SCA is very far from a heart attack to which it is constantly misconstrued. While heart attack takes place when a blockage is keeping the blood from reaching the heart, in SCA, a problem in the natural beating pattern of the heart takes place causing it to stop beating. In most cases, a heart attack produces a number of symptoms such as numbing of the extremities, tingling sensation, and difficulty breathing. This is something that the SCA does not provide.

In most cases, an SCA happens outside of a medical institution. That being the case, it is no surprise that more and more establishments are making sure that they have at least one unit of AED on hand in order to help those in need of resuscitation. It also helps that more and more US states are making it mandatory for these establishments to have the right number of AED units on hand.

An AED, or Automated External Defibrillator, is a portable electronic device that can be used by literally anyone in order to help revive a person suffering from SCA. Each of the unit comes with two pads that are to be attached to the chest of the victim. These pads are attached by a wire to the main electronic computer. The latter is responsible for assessing the condition of the victim as well as determining whether the situation still calls for the administration of electrical jolts or not. The device itself can also help first-time responders to administer CPR even if they have no prior training on how to do such. This is because most models of AED have both audio as well as visual prompt that can help the responder figure out what to do next.

So why do people consider access to AED as well as administration of electrical shock to victims of SCA important?

In the chain of survival, early fibrillation is critical to ensuring a person’s chances of being able to make it through. Keep in mind that most SCA is caused by ventricular fibrillation. If early administration of electrical jolts that would help normalize the beating patter of the heart is done, the patient would have better chances of being able to make it through. Of course, it would also help if CPR as well as immediate activation of emergency response is done.

If you are planning to come up with your own AED program, you might do well getting the services of Citywide CPR. Citywide CPR also provides CPR training and certification programs.

Performing CPR: Straight from AHA

January 8, 2013Comments Off on Performing CPR: Straight from AHA

AHA, or the American Heart Association, is the body responsible for issuing guidelines on how to provide basic and advanced life support. They are also the primary body responsible for ensuring that CPR is done properly. In support of this, the AHA has been issuing one of the most widely accepted CPR certification as well as first aid and basic life support certification.

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation has come a long way when it comes to saving a person’s life. In the past, much emphasis has been given on ensuring that CPR is performed following a specific process – A-B-C. This means that the responder or first aider would have to check the airway first, administer artificial breathing, and then proceed to administering chest compression. Although this process has been credited with saving a number of lives, AHA, based on the results of researches done by other medical professionals, has promulgated a new way of dealing with victims of SCA, or Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

Recently, AHA has issued a different set of guidelines that is believed to increase the chances of a person surviving SCA. This method placed more emphasis on the administration of chest compression. This means that, what used to be an A-B-C model is now a C-A-B model.

Aside from this, AHA has also stated that those who do not have proper training in CPR can still help save lives by administering a hands-only, or compression-only, CPR. In this method, the responder only needs to make sure that he or she is able to administer uninterrupted chest compressions of about 100 compressions in a minute. Each of the compression should still be two inches deep. The responder may stop if the paramedics has arrived or if there is someone else in the crowd who can take his or her place in administering the CPR. In this method, there is no more need to administer rescue breathing. That being the case, everyone is now encouraged to jump in and start CPR should they see someone become unconscious and unresponsive. The same instruction can also be followed by those who have had a CPR training in the past but have grown rusty in the said life-saving skill. For those who have had rigorous training in CPR, AHA recommends performing 30 chest compressions before checking the airway and administering rescue breathings. Both the CAB CPR as well as the COCPR can be administered in adults and children. For infants especially newborns, however, a different set of techniques should be used by the first aider or responder.

Not many people may be aware of it but, by administering CPR, tissue necrosis is actually prevented. How so? By simulating blood circulation, the needed oxygen and nutrients in the blood are able to reach the intended major organs in the body.

Not many people may pay particular attention to it but knowing how to do CPR properly can oftentimes spell the difference between hero and zero. That being the case, it is only right that you undergo the correct CPR training and certification program. One dependable provider of such is Citywide CPR.

Dealing with Cardiac Arrests and Defibrillators

January 4, 2013Comments Off on Dealing with Cardiac Arrests and Defibrillators

If you would take time to look at the numbers, you would realize that almost half a million Americans succumb to Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Of these figures, about 50,000 is considered to be preventable had there been an AED unit in place.

As the name implies, Sudden Cardiac Arrest or SCA takes place when, for no immediate and apparent reason, the heart suddenly stops beating. Because of this, the supply of blood to the brain as well as a number of major organs stop. This, in turn, can lead to tissue necrosis, or tissue death. Sudden Cardiac Arrest is typically  caused by arrhythmia. What this means is that something goes wrong that causes the normal beating pattern of the heart to go haywire and stop. Although it SCA is generally used by common people to refer to heart attack, and vice versa, the two are actually not the same.

Heart attack oftentimes take place when there is a blockage occurring along the arteries that is keeping the blood rich in oxygen from reaching the heart as well as other major organs. In majority of cases, patients suffering from a heart attack typically experience a number of telltale signs beforehand. This could include a tingling sensation on the hands and the arms, difficulty breathing, dizziness, and nausea, among others. This is something that SCA does not have making it a graver threat to a person.

Of the two cases, AEDs tend to be more useful in cases of SCA. This is because, with the help of the AED, electrical pulses can be sent to the heart in order to help it get back to its normal beating pattern. The electrical pulses actually causes the heart to stop from shivering allowing it enough time to be able to get back to its natural rhythm. What an AED unit does is (1) provide visual as well as audio cues on how to proceed with the CPR, (2) determine whether there is a need for the administration of electrical jolts, and (3) make it possible for just about anyone to perform CPR and help revive a victim.

In typical cases, an AED comes with two pads with electrodes which the user would have to attach to the victim’s chest using adhesives. These paddles are connected to a mini-computer that is responsible for checking what the condition of the patient is as well as if there is a need for administration of electrical jolts.

With more and more states pushing for the implementation of a legislative that make it mandatory for commercial buildings to have a certain number of AED units, the American Heart Foundation are aiming to be able to save more lives than before. Of course, it would also greatly help of institutions really took the time to ensure that there are people within their organization who have been trained to administer CPR.

To know more about how to properly implement an AED program, visit Citywide CPR. They also offer CPR training and certification programs.

Upping the Survival Rate by 50%

December 28, 2012Comments Off on Upping the Survival Rate by 50%

For the past two years, people have been scrambling about and one-upping each other when it comes to finding proof that the whole slew of CPR procedure is better than the Compression-Only CPR (COCPR). Although both are equally dependable ways of making sure that the patient makes it at least until the paramedics arrive, a number of studies seem to indicate that the formal CPR provides a more long-term solution compared to COCPR. Recently, however, it seems there is still a better method than the two.

Researchers from the University of Minnesota Medical School have come up with two devices that is able to increase the likelihood of someone surviving a cardiac arrest and retaining normal brain function by as much as 50%. The devices were a result of a 5-year study conducted by the said researchers. By using the two devices at the same time, researchers have found out that such major organs as  the heart and the brain are able to get thrice the amount of blood supply should the responder be using traditional or standard CPR procedure. Of course, this means that tissue necrosis is averted. The researchers assert that, with the standard, manual CPR, the victim is only able to receive about 25% of the required blood supply in order to keep brain and heart functions intact. Although this is significant, it is not efficient in ensuring the health of the brain as well as other major organs of the victim on a long-term basis.

The first device in the duo is named ResQPump and is responsible for lifting the chest of the victim after each compression in order to simulate blood flow. It comes with a suction cup that attached to the patient’s chest as well as a handle that would help the responder lift the victim’s chest. The second device, on the other hand, is called the ResQPOD. This device is responsible for making sure that air does not go rushing into the victim’s lungs as this could cause suffocation. The ResQPOD comes with a face mask as well as a breathing tube. By using both devices, responders would be able to easily initiate artificial circulation of the blood thus preserving brain functions as well as those functions of a number of major organs. What’s more, with the devices in place, responders can conserve their energy and continue administering CPR via the device until paramedics arrive or the patient has been revived. This can be seen as a great step in terms of use of existing technology. Both of the devices have been manufactured by the Advanced Circulatory Systems whose main headquarters is based in Minnesota.

The downside of this situation, however, is that the devices have not yet been approved for use by the American Heart Association, or AHA.

Get to know more about CPR as well as other life-saving techniques by attending the CPR training and certification program provided by Citywide CPR.

The History of CPR

December 26, 2012Comments Off on The History of CPR

In the past, people who accidentally drown or have suffered cardiac arrest have very little to no chance of making it out alive. That was until, in 1740, the Paris Academy of Sciences recommended the use of mouth to mouth resuscitation in order to revive victims of drowning. With the introduction of CPR, drowning victims were able to up their chances of making it through.

Of course, certain cases do not positively respond to mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. It was this dilemma that has pushed one medical professional by the name of John Hill to document in 1868 a new procedure that allowed victims of chloroform inhalation to be revived without the use of mouth to mouth resuscitation. The said procedure called for the compression of the front part of the chest for 15 seconds thrice. All of the recorded cases seems to have been successful although a clean bill of health was something that took time to be issued.

It was, however, in 1954 that the first successful demonstration of how effective expired air is when it comes to maintaining oxygen in the victim’s body. This demonstration was conducted by James Elam, a US doctor and a respiratory researcher. Together with Dr. Peter Safar, the duo went beyond a successful demonstration by offering a definite proof that their procedure was better than all the past procedures put forward. Elam is also best known for the Roswell Park ventilator which has been proven to be quite effective in absorbing carbon dioxide during surgery.

Although Dr. Peter Safar is typically a name that is just associated with Elam, he actually also has his own worthy contribution as it was he who discovered the efficacy of titling the head  back and opening the mouth in order to be able to make the most of a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. It was he who is credited with coming up with the famous Resusci Anne mannequin by Laerdral which allowed more and more people to be familiar with how CPR should be administered. It was also Safar who came up with the idea of ABC – checking for airway, restoring breathing, and application of chest compression to restore circulation.

After so many years, however, the American Heart Association (AHA) has issued a new guideline that called for a change in how the whole CPR process is done. If, in the past, the ABC model has been widely lauded as the proper way to do CPR, today, more and more medical professionals are seeing the merits of starting the process with chest compression. This change in how CPR is done is brought primarily by the results of recent studies that point to the need of restoring circulation as soon as possible in order to prevent tissue necrosis, or tissue death. One has to keep in mind, however, that the CAB model,including hands-only compression which is currently gaining ground among those who were not trained in proper CPR, is not something that can be used for children and infant as well as for pregnant women.

Citywide CPR provides CPR training and certification that can help you save a life. Aside from this, Citywide CPR is also a good recourse if you need help when it comes to AED program management.

Revisiting What CPR is About

December 24, 2012Comments Off on Revisiting What CPR is About

Recent studies have shown that, in cases of Sudden Cardiac Arrest, or SCA, only 8% of the victims are able to reach the hospital. The same studies, however, reveal that, if bystanders involved had knowledge of how CPR is administered, these figures could be greatly improved.

CPR, also known as Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation, is a life-saving procedure that is typically administered to unconscious victims who are suspected to have suffered from cardiac arrest. The aim of administering CPR is to ensure that brain function is kept intact until medical facilities are able to restore normal heart beat, blood flow, and respiration.

In the past, CPR has always been about checking the airway for obstruction and administering artificial respiration before doing chest compressions. Because of the complexity of the procedure, and the possibility of injuring the victim, most bystanders who witness such medical emergency rarely jump in to help. Fortunately, the recent changes introduced last 2010 by the American Heart Association (AHA) has made exerting efforts in such situations now much easier.

With the release of the 2010 guidelines, responders now focus more on administering chest compression. One of the changes made by the said guidelines is re-arranging the order of how CPR is done. If CPR in the old days follow the A-B-C method, the CPR of today now follows a C-A-B model. This means a responder would first have to administer chest compression before checking for airway obstruction and then administering resuscitation.

The recent changes in the guidelines has also led to more and more people becoming engaged in helping unconscious victims. For one, they need not worry more about how to go about the whole CPR process. This is because bystanders simply need to make sure that they administer chest compressions until the paramedics arrive. What’s more, they only need to make sure that each of the compression is at least 5 centimeters in depth and would number to about a hundred in 60 seconds. The best way to do this would be to time the compression to the beat of Stayin’ Alive. Most medical professionals recommend bystanders to keep on administering chest compression until (1) they are tired and would need someone to replace them, and (2) the paramedics have arrived.

One has to keep in mind, however, that chest compressions alone very rarely revives a patient. In most cases, there is usually a need to administer electrical shock in order to help the heart get restored to its natural beating pattern. That being the case, it would definitely help if there is an AED unit around to help jump start the heart. Of course, once the patient is revived, there would still be a need for him or her to visit a medical facility in order to assess if there are long-term damage to his or her neurological system because of the cardiac arrest.

Citywide CPR provides CPR training and certification that can help you save a life. Aside from this, Citywide CPR is also a good recourse if you need help when it comes to AED program management.

What Is Continuous Chest Compression?

December 20, 2012Comments Off on What Is Continuous Chest Compression?

For some time, bystanders witnessing medical emergencies have always been afraid to jump in and help revive a person who has suddenly become unconscious. One of the reasons why they seem to shy away from what could have been a life-changing moment is the fear that they might do more harm than good. With the recent changes introduced by the American Heart Association, however, when it comes to administering CPR, observers have noted an increase in a person’s willingness to help an unconscious victim.

The recent release of the new guidelines last 2010 when it comes to CPR has led to a number of new ways of being able to to administer the said life-saving procedure. If in the past a responder would have to start first by checking the airway and then administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation before doing chest compressions, the recent guidelines has now placed more emphasis on chest compression. This means that a responder would first have to ensure that chest compression has been administered before checking the airway as well as giving artificial respiration. In cases where there is no one around who knows how to administer CPR, bystanders can do hands-only, also known as compression-only or continuous chest, CPR. In this type of CPR, the responder would only have to make sure that he or she administers chest compression for as long as possible.

So what is the rationale behind continuous chest compression?

AHA promulgated the change in how CPR is done due to the fact that, by placing more emphasis on chest compression, blood circulation does not stop. You have to keep in mind that it is the blood that bring the needed oxygen and nutrients to the various tissues and cells in the body. With the blood continuously circulating, albeit artificially, tissues of major organs are able to get the sustenance that they need. This, in turn, prevents tissue necrosis, a grave medical condition that can cause organ failure and, consequently, death.

Doing chest compression is relatively easy. The first thing that you have to do is find the center of the chest. This can be done by finding where the sternum ends. About two inches above the end of the sternum is where you should place the heel of your palm and start doing the compression. Each compression should be at least 2 inches deep. In a minute, you have to make sure that you are able to do about 100 compressions. In order to keep the beat consistent, most medical professionals recommend compressing to the beat of such songs as “Stayin’ Alive”.

However, it is still best to remember that chest compressions alone are rarely enough to revive an unconscious victim. In most cases, defibrillation is required in order to restore the heart’s natural beating pattern. Once the patient has been revived, it is also best to still have him or her be checked by a medical professional to assess if the patient is truly okay.

Prepare yourself by undergoing the CPR Certification and training program being provided by Citywide CPR.

The Basics of CPR

December 18, 2012Comments Off on The Basics of CPR

Ask anyone about the best way to save an unconscious person’s life and they would probably tell you that you would need to administer CPR. It is the basic belief that CPR is the be-all, end-all when it comes to saving  a life that has led to this procedure to be touted as the most important procedure that a responder should know of. In truth, however, many people actually do not have an idea when it comes to making the most of the CPR, much less what CPR is really all about.

CPR, or Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation, is often used in cases involving drowning, heart attack and electrocution. Not too long ago, the process of administering CPR involved checking the airway, administering artificial respiration, and doing chest compressions in order get the blood circulating. Today, however, CPR involves, first and foremost, the administration of chest compression before a responder is required to check the airway as well as administer artificial respiration. This is different from how it is done in the past where the Airway has to be checked first before artificial breathing and chest compression are administered. This came about after the American Heart Association (AHA) released in 2010 a new set of guidelines that put more emphasis on the administration of chest compression. With the introduction of these guidelines, bystanders are now encouraged to do their best even if they lack the needed CPR training. The reason behind the changes introduced by the AHA is based on the results of recent studies that showed a marked increase in survival rate if the victim is immediately given CPR. In essence, by administering chest compression as soon as the patient becomes unconscious causes the blood circulation to continue, albeit in an artificial manner, allowing the oxygen in the blood cells to reach major cells and tissues. This, in turn, ensures that major organs in the patient’s body do not suffer from tissue necrosis, or tissue death. One has to understand that tissue necrosis can take place when the cells are unable to get the nutrients they need via the blood cells.

The results of the said study has since led to two types of CPR – the traditional CPR, and the Compression-Only CPR (COCPR). While both are credited with increasing the chances of survival, one still has to take note of the fact that the latter procedure is applicable only to adult patients. If the situation involves children or infant, the traditional method of administering CPR is recommended. Traditional CPR is also recommended when the responder is not a first-hand witness of the victim’s situation. One has to keep in mind that compression0only CPRs tend to work better when the situation involves ventricular fibrillation. Unconsciousness due to other reasons would fare better when dealt with using the traditional approach to CPR.

If you would like to be ready for any kind of medical emergency, you should first learn how to properly do a CPR. Citywide CPR provides CPR training and certification that can help you save lives some day.