Become Certified in CPR and Save a Life
Have you ever wondered if something as small as three letters could be the one thing that determines if someone lives or dies? Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, or CPR for short, is probably something you have heard of but never given much more thought than that.
George Grim, EMS/Coordinator, along with the Euless Fire Department know all too well how important CPR is to someone’s survival.
For the last four years, members of the Euless Fire Department have been making use of the Lund University Cardiopulmonary Assist System (LUCAS), a mechanical CPR device that has helped them improve their work performance in many ways. “Crew safety is one of them, we no longer have to stand up in the back of an ambulance going down the road holding on with one hand,” Grim said.
Unlike people, the machine doesn’t get tired and can give continuous chest compressions for about 30 minutes (allowing time to get individuals into emergency care).
However, when LUCAS is not available, traditional CPR can also be life saving.
At a local basketball court, a 19-year-old went into cardiac arrest and was saved thanks to a bystander who performed CPR until emergency medical personnel took over. The teen was released from the hospital a few days later.
According to Grim, “We have had at least five calls in the past seven months, where bystander CPR was started and 911 was called, and they all ended up walking out of the hospital.”
A common concern most people have about performing CPR on someone is the infamous two breaths recommended along with chest compressions. For those who are hesitant about giving breaths to another, Grim’s advice is to “focus on compressions and don’t worry about the breaths.”
Another lifesaving tool is the Automated External Defibrillators (AED) that are located in the City of Euless buildings. An AED can be just as valuable as CPR. However, don’t stop performing CPR to retrieve an AED. Ask someone else to get it. Two minutes of non-blood flow to the brain is all it takes for damage to start to set in.
When doing compressions, don’t go too fast, make sure you let the chest recoil and try to get 100 compressions per minute.
Those working in emergency services know that properly performing CPR can be life saving. But you don’t have to be trained in emergency medicine to learn how to aid others. Many cities and organizations offer classes to teach everyday people how they too can learn how to save a life.
“You want to begin chest compression prior to five minutes of the incident,” Grim said. “It’s the one thing that’s actually going to make a difference.”
For those interested in getting CPR certified, the American Red Cross has a search engine to find certification classes in your area at https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/cpr.