If someone discussed Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and Choking, do you really know what that means?
What is Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation or CPR?
CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It’s a lifesaving medical procedure which is given to someone who is in cardiac arrest. It helps to pump blood around the person’s body when their heart has stopped or simply cannot pump adequately for various reasons. To carry out CPR a person performs compressions on the centre of the patient’s chest and gives them a series of mouth-to-mouth or rescue breaths in an attempt to manually take over the heart’s function, to help save their life when they are in cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is basically when the heart to stops pumping blood around the body and to the brain. Cardiac arrest causes the person to fall unconscious and stop breathing. Without CPR the person will die within minutes.
CPR should only be performed if someone is:
- No pulse found
- Not breathing
What is an Automated External Defibrillator or AED?
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a lightweight, portable device that delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart. The shock can potentially reboot an irregular heartbeat (dysrhythmia) and allow a normal rhythm to resume following sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). SCA occurs when the heart malfunctions and stops beating unexpectedly. If not treated within minutes, it quickly leads to death. Most SCAs result from ventricular fibrillation (VF). VF is a rapid and unsynchronized heart rhythm that originates in the heart’s lower chambers (the ventricles). The heart must be “defibrillated” quickly because of a victim’s chance of surviving drops by seven to 10 per cent for every minute a normal heartbeat isn’t restored.
Why is an AED important?
AEDs make it possible for more people to respond to a medical emergency where defibrillation is required. Because AEDs are portable, they can be used by non-medical people (lay-rescuers). They can be made part of emergency response programs that also include the rapid use of emergency services and prompt delivery of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). All three of these activities are vital to improving survival from SCA.
How does an AED work?
A built-in computer checks a victim’s heart rhythm through adhesive electrodes. The computer calculates whether defibrillation is needed. If it is, a recorded voice prompts the rescuer to press the shock button on the AED. This shock momentarily stuns the heart and stops all activity. It gives the heart the chance to resume beating effectively. Audible prompts guide the user through the process. AEDs advise a shock only for ventricular fibrillation or another life-threatening condition called pulseless ventricular tachycardia.
Who can use an AED?
Non-medical personnel such as police, fire service personnel, flight attendants, security guards and other lay rescuers who have been trained in CPR can use AEDs. Although formal training in the use of an AED is not required, it is recommended to help the rescuer increase their comfort and level of confidence. However, AEDs are intended for use by the general public. Most AEDs use audible voice prompts to guide the user through the process.
What is choking?
Choking can be defined as a partial or complete obstruction in the food pipe or throat due to a foreign body such as food, water, a toy, etc. Choking is a form of asphyxia where there is little or no flow of oxygen to the body and may result in unconsciousness or in some cases, even death. Symptoms of choking would be if someone has difficulty in breathing, is unconscious, can’t speak, inability to cough, or skin, lips and nails turning blue.
Why do your employees need first aid training?
Most companies provide first aid training, but often this is overlooked. There are four main benefits of making first aid training a requirement in the workplace.
- You can tailor the needs of your company: First aid programs allow your company to tailor training to your workplace, current risk management strategy, financial capability, and industry in which you operate. For example, a first aid program for a large office will differ from a program for a construction company. Adopting your own first aid and CPR training means you can ensure the program is current, effective, and focused on the requirements of your business.
- Low cost: The only cost when opting for first aid training is the right provider and training course. You can choose one or two people from your team (don’t forget to include someone from management) to receive the training. The financial effects of workplace injuries – providing training for everyone will reduce accident numbers and severity – having a greater financial impact in the long run.
- Increased employee morale: Employee morale is an integral part of any company. High morale leads to positive attitudes and positive attitudes lead to positive results. The happiness and wellbeing of your employees will help you build a strong relationship, ultimately resulting in a better working environment. First aid and CPR training will help ensure employee health and safety in addition to enhanced well-being and morale.
- You could save a life! All employees become more safety aware, helping bring down the number of accidents. First aid and CPR saves lives, particularly where there are grave injuries and it is critical that immediate action is taken. Training gives critical knowledge and confidence to effectively manage an emergency without fear or confusion.
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About us: Absolute Health Services (AHS) offer tailored Health and Safety Files, conduct company Health and Safety Compliance Assessments as well as detailed Health and Safety Risk Assessments. We offer accredited Health and Safety (H&S) training, ensuring that our clients receive current, professional and quality training. All our training instructors are paramedics registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa and have extensive practical operational experience and have specialised in First Aid, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), Firefighting and H&S training. Our training courses contain the latest theoretical course content and extensive practical content and scenario training, thereby ensuring both theoretical and practical exposure. Absolute Health Services has a team of Health and Safety graduates and practitioners that are able to assist organisations in implementing a holistic, logical and successful Health and Safety management service within their unique working environment.