Hands-Only Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is the Ticket!
By Ryan Peters, Fire Captain Aptos / La Selva Fire District
As the beat goes on in 2018, February is a great time to focus on things we can all do to help our community thrive and be the best it can be. It may be the second month of the year, but it’s never too late to decide and implement that New Years resolution you may have made back in December. Whatever that resolution may be, I hope you stick to the plan and achieve the positive results you are seeking.
If you are still searching for an idea, might I suggest the following: Learn hands-only Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in 2018! It’s easy, it’s safe, and most importantly, it save lives. Talk about bringing your A game in 2018! Learning CPR is just the kind of thing we can all do to make our community safer, stronger, and more well prepared.
As a Fire Captain with the Aptos-La Selva Fire District, our crews and I have witnessed first hand the tragic losses families endure when a loved one dies from heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular disease. As well-trained and prepared as our crews are, even with the latest advanced life support tools at our disposal, the sad reality is that without early bystander-CPR and access to Automated External Defibrillators (AED) the prognosis for patients in cardiac arrest is still very poor. This is an issue that emergency medical providers are dealing with worldwide. One of the ways we are addressing this issue is by encouraging families to become CPR certified.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), 6 million people die each year globally from cardiac arrest. The AHA has set a goal with other professional educators and providers to train 22 million people each year on how to respond and care for victims of cardiac arrest. Why not take a little bit of time to become one of these lifesavers? Early bystander-CPR can double or even triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance for survival outside of the Emergency Room. That is an incredible statistic!
Looking back on some of the cardiac arrest cases my crews and I have worked, we can attest that this statistic is unequivocally true! We have all had a case or two where a patient survived cardiac arrest, in which there was a return of spontaneous breathing, heartbeat, and a good blood pressure, because bystander-CPR was administered prior to our arrival on the scene. Due to the fact that the family or bystanders on scene took the time to become trained in hands-only CPR, that patient was given the best chances of survival outside the hospital setting.
Bystander-CPR, training in first aid, and AED training sessions, are all tools you and your family can train in and then place in your personal tool belts. Hands-only CPR training is designed and intended to be user friendly, safe, and encouraging for citizens to feel comfortable to start CPR if or when the time arises to use it. There are two steps to saving a life: Call 911, and then Push Hard and Fast! After making sure 911 is notified and on the way, push hard and fast in the center of the victims chest to the tune of 100 to 120 beats per minute (think of the song “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees). Don’t worry about the idea of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, simply continue to push hard and fast on the chest.
The most important lessons here are these: don’t be afraid to use hands-only CPR. Your actions could very well save a life! Take the entire family and attend a hands-only CPR course. As I talked about in January, this is the year for all of us to bring our A game. Becoming trained in how to save lives with hands-only CPR is a great way to do exactly that! Let’s make our community the best trained and most prepared community in Santa Cruz County.
The Aptos-La Selva Fire District provides free evening and morning classes generally once a month. There are also many other organizations in the area that also provide classes and training on CPR, advanced first aid, AED, and other cardiovascular issues.
You may also visit our website at www.Aptosfire.com or call (831) 685-6690.