CPR: Easy to learn and could save a life

By Doug Bardwell , American Red Cross volunteer

February 6, 2019- The American Red Cross is well-known for the lifesaving training it makes available across the country. Classes are available for adult, child and infant CPR, First Aid and use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Special classes are also offered for health/rescue workers, child care, babysitters and lifeguards.

If you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, Hands-Only CPR is the recommended form of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). It not only increases the likelihood of surviving breathing and cardiac emergencies that occur outside of medical settings, but it’s simple to learn and easy to remember.

Icon PreparednessTo make learning easier, one year ago, the Red Cross introduced new CPR manikins affectionately called Big Red. The manikins help students get immediate feedback if they are performing the CPR technique correctly.

“Good CPR is a skill that almost anyone can do, but using the correct technique can be the difference between life and death for a person in cardiac arrest,” said Richard N. Bradley, M.D., FACEP, member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council, and chair of its Resuscitation Sub-Council. “The unique technology in the Big Red manikin enhances an amazing tool to improve students’ ability to learn the right way to provide lifesaving assistance.”

Anyone can master the technique

Before performing CPR, remember these few important steps:

  1. Look around and make sure the scene is safe for yourself and the victim.
  2. Tap the person on the shoulder and shout “Are you okay?” Look for signs of rhythmic, normal breathing.
  3. If none, call or have someone call 911, and then begin CPR.

Performing Hands-Only CPR:

  1. Kneel beside the person who needs help.
  2. Place the heel of one hand on the center of the chest.
  3. Place the heel of the other hand on top of the first hand, then lace your fingers together.
  4. Position your body so that your shoulders are directly over your hand and keep your arms straight.
  5. Push hard, push fast. Use your body weight to help you administer compressions that are at least 2 inches deep and delivered at a rate of at least 100 compressions per minute. (Just be sure to let the victim’s chest rise completely between compressions.)
  6. Keep pushing. Continue Hands-Only CPR until you see obvious signs of life (like breathing), another trained responder or EMS professional can take over, you’re too exhausted to continue, an AED becomes available, or the scene becomes unsafe.

This short video will give you the proper technique:

Yes, anyone can do it.

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In a recent Washington Post article, the writer tells the story of Cross Scott, a mechanic, who encountered a woman who had stopped breathing. He decided to administer CPR while waiting for the rescue squad to arrive. Having never taken a CPR course, he did recall watching  Michael Scott learning how to do CPR on an episode of “The Office.”  Within a minute, the woman began to breathe again.

You can watch the humorous, but lifesaving TV clip here:

 

Find a class and sign up today

To be a genuine asset to family, friends and your neighbors, consider signing up for a Red Cross class. With multiple opportunities each week, it’s easy to find one near you at a convenient time.

Classes can be done online, in person or a blended class using both online and in-person sessions. By taking part of the instruction online, you’ll spend less time in class, but have the advantage of reviewing anything that may have been unclear in the online materials.

Red Cross volunteers can get a voucher to cover the cost of the course. Inquire at your local chapter office.

 

How to do Hands-Only CPR

https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/cpr/performing-cpr/hands-only-cpr

http://www.redcross.org/prepare/hands-only-cpr   video

http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/cpr/cpr-training  take a class: online, in person, blended

Hands-Only CPR page

https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/be-red-cross-ready/hands-only-cpr.html

 

Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer

Famed Speaker Makes Jubilant Return

Thanks Responders Who Performed CPR, Used an AED, Saved His Life

“You guys saved my life. It doesn’t get any better than that!”

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Dr. Stephen Sroka

Those were the first words uttered by Dr. Stephen Sroka at the Medina Performing Arts Center on Friday morning, October 21, 2016, on the very stage where 9 months earlier, he died.

Dr. Sroka, President of Health Education Consultants and a popular speaker at professional educational and school safety conferences, suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed on January 15, 2016, while delivering a presentation on heroin use to the staff of the Medina City Schools.  Fortunately, two School Resource Officers and an associate principal were able to respond immediately.  All had received CPR/AED training.

“We were at the right place at the right time,” said Officer Mike Wesner. “I mean we were there within seconds.”

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School Resource Officers Al Roland, left, and Mike Wesner with Dr. Stephen Sroka on Octiber 21, 2016

Officer Wesner retrieved an automated external defibrillator (AED) while Officer Al Roland performed CPR. Associate Principal Andy Brenner, who had received AED training just two weeks earlier, administered the shock that restarted Sroka’s heart.

He has returned to the lecture circuit, but Dr. Sroka’s message now includes support of CPR and AED training, such as that offered by the American Red Cross.

Log onto redcross.org, click on Training and Certification, and enter your zip code to find a list of classes, times and locations.  Classes are also available for groups, organizations and companies.   Call Phil Ormandy at 216-426-5080 for more information.

“It saves lives,” Stephen Sroka notes. “I can attest from my still beating heart.”

Training Lifts Red Cross Worker to New Heights

By EILENE E. GUY
American Red Cross volunteer

AKRON, July 17, 2016 – American Red Crosser Pam Williams is used to handling challenges.

In the last eight years, she has done some 25 disaster deployments all over the country.  As a government liaison, she sees to it that the Red Cross is working smoothly with whatever tribal, local, state and even federal agencies are also responding to a disaster.

“I haven’t severed diplomatic relations with a single state yet,” the slim, whitehaired volunteer from Akron, Ohio, said with a chuckle.

Williams admits it’s not always easy when “cranky politicians” take out their stress on her. She recalls with pride an episode that started with an angry emergency management director and his shelter manager who didn’t understand Red Cross policies. Williams went out of her way to patiently explain the “back story” of each and every procedure, adding hours to her days to smooth the local government-Red Cross relationship. Her reward: The shelter manager later wrote to her at home, asking how to become a Red Cross volunteer.

On the eve of what could be a busy assignment, as the Red Cross and its many partners get ready for the Republican National Convention, Williams seized a new challenge:  She took the training to become a forklift driver.

The Red Cross offers a staggering array of free courses, both on-line and hands-on, to teach disaster responders how to safely and effectively do their jobs – or jobs that they might just want to try.

“I know that we’re often short of forklift drivers, when a truck comes in with a load of supplies, and I thought ‘What the heck’,” Williams said, with an almost-mischievous smile. “You never know” when you might be able to fill a pressing need.

“It’s not necessarily hard to drive a forklift, but it’s nothing like driving a car,” she learned. With a zero-turning radius, “it feels like the back is going to slide right around in front of you. That took some getting used to.”

Using her light touch and attention to detail, Williams mastered the machine, much to the delight of her many male co-workers. “I didn’t hurt anybody. I didn’t damage any equipment or drop any loads,” she said with amused pleasure, “so it’s a good day!”

Now Williams’s car can sport a bumper sticker that proclaims: “My other ride is a forklift.”

Why we Red Cross: Training

 Gary with his daughter, Christy and his wife.


Gary with his daughter, Christy and his wife.

Gary Burris was stuck in traffic when his daughter became unresponsive. Ahead, he saw a Red Cross vehicle and ran for assistance.

Tim Reichel, Red Cross volunteer, was driving a Red Cross vehicle back to Canton, OH from an event. Upon seeing his panic, Tim ran to Gary’s daughter, Christy. With no cell reception, attempts to call ‘911’ failed. A truck driver used his radio to call for help.

Tim, certified in CPR and first aid, could see she was breathing and propped her legs up to prevent shock. He retrieved gauze from his vehicle to wet and place on her forehead.

Once the EMS arrived, they took Christy to a local hospital. It was determined that Christy had a seizure. She is now in good health.

“As I’ve shared this story, people can’t believe how lucky we were. I was paralyzed with fear but feel so blessed that the Red Cross was there,” said Gary.

Tim began volunteering for the Red Cross after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In response to this situation Tim asks that everyone get CPR and First Aid certification.

If you would like more information on Red Cross training in First Aid and CPR, visit our website or contact your local chapter. For more information on volunteering, click here.