Becoming a certified CPR and first aid rescuer is not easy. Training is difficult, because learning a skill once does not necessarily equate to performing it well every time you encounter an emergency. However, if you train with us, you will learn how to give CPR in various emergency situations – keeping in mind to practice your skills after the training program has been completed. There are five training programs available at our providers – all at very affordable training fees.
Giving first aid to choking victims
Though our courses are touted as CPR programs, all oft them include basic first aid skills for different injuries and emergency situations. In accordance with the Life Support guidelines (American Heart Association), respiratory emergencies from choking are some of the most common first aid situations dealt with by bystander rescuers. Medically termed FBAO – Foreigh Body Airway Obstruction – choking can be caused by food or small objects lodged in the airway. In adults, choking is usually caused by eating while choking in children is usually caused by small objects such as toys.
- The international sign for choking is making squeezing or pointing movements to the throat, coupled by an inability to speak and breathe. If this is the case, quickly ask “Are you choking?”. If the victim nods, immediately proceed to first aid management.
- For mild obstructions, allow the victim to try and cough it out. If this does not work and the victim is experiencing severe difficulty breathing, start back blows and/or the Heimlich maneuver.
The Heimlich Maneuver/Back Blows
After phoning 911, immediately start helping the choking victim. Back blows, abdominal thrusts, and chest thrusts have been shown to be effective for responsive adults and children older than 1 year of age experiencing severe obstruction of the airway. In a case study performed, in only 50 percent of 513 choking victims was the obstruction relieved by a bystander while the other half was relieved by EMS/EMTs. Mortality rates are very low for this kind of case; only 4 percent of the cases died even with EMTs arriving on the scene.
Note: Special cases where the victims are obese (and abdominal thrusts/Heimlich maneuver) cannot be adequately performed, back blows and chest thrusts are preferred.
CPR: the ultimate lifesaving skill
CPR is characteristically one of the easiest yet more nerve-wracking lifesaving skills to perform. Chest compressions are easy enough techniques, with numerous videos on the internet adequately showing how to perform it. In and out of the hospital, it is the first technique used to address cardiac arrest. However, despite the straightforward “push hard and fast” it can be difficult to perform without necessary training in a high stress situation.
- Lace both hands together and place the heel in the middle of the chest (sternum), in between the nipples. Use the heel to push down hard, keeping elbows locked.
- The chest compression depth should be at least 2 inches, allowing it to recoil in between compressions.
- Rate of compressions should be at least 100 a minute.