Saturday, July 27, 2013

#25 - Knowledge you hope you never have to use

It had been a long time - embarrassingly long - since the last time I took CPR.  As someone who works in a public place with people of all ages and health conditions, I was feeling like perhaps I should brush up on emergency skills when I wrote my first set of DayZero goals.  And, three years went by without having a good opportunity to participate in a first aid/CPR refresher course.  This year, I decided that I just needed to make the opportunity.  So, when the city scheduled its annual refresher course, I made the decision to close the library and send ALL of us to attend this year.

The first aid portion held no surprises.  Although, the photos of brown recluse spider bites were sobering.  I'm not fond of spiders to begin with, so I'd never really looked at what those bites can do.  The instructions for the use of an AED (automatic external defibrillator) seem to really be as simple as turn the power on and do what the machine tells you.  The library I work for acquired one of these devices within the past year, so it was new to me.

CPR, however, has had some changes in recommended technique since the last time I took the course.  First, dispensing with most of the preliminary exam (taking the pulse, etc) and going straight to CPR if the person does not respond to you ... this was a surprise though I can see that seconds count and a pulse is sometimes hard to find.  The second change was that now chest compressions are done before breaths, and the ratio is 30 (fast) compressions to 2 breaths.  I remember the ratio as being 15 to 2 before.  However, the most interesting change was when the instructor said that it would be acceptable to ONLY do the chest compressions without stopping for breaths.

Definitely some valuable information reviewed in a few hours time ... but of a type that I hope I will never need to use.

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