Do you know CPR? Would you feel comfortable attempting it if someone needed it? http://handsonlycpr.org/ (This video link is for Hands-Only CPR for people who don’t want to put their mouth on someone else’s and Not Certified in CPR).
I had a completely different topic in mind to write about today, but I literally had a “change of heart”, so to speak. Since I work a couple days a week with a special needs organization, we are required to keep our CPR certification up to date. After my recertification, I wanted to make it mandatory for every single person to learn!
Although I have had the training before, I did some major soul searching to figure out why this time in particular held so much more meaning to me. Many, many thoughts came to mind during the training and long afterward. Some thoughts about what bothered me about the training and other emotions that came up since we did CPR on my Dad when he had his heart attack – to no avail.
Let me first start by reminding you that I am a VERY anal learning. When I am learning a topic or subject, I throw myself into it 100% and I try to make the learning experience as close to reality as possible. We have all been in seminars where we had to do role playing of some sort. Depending on the situation, you may have felt uncomfortable, or if you are a ham, you may have loved the limelight. Next time a chance to role play a situation arises, welcome it with open arms since it can be an invaluable lesson.
Which brings me to what has always bothered me about the CPR training I have ever taken. I know with the dummies, they try to make the experience as real as possible because the placement of your hands and the depth of the compression are very important factors. You are supposed to point to someone and say “Call 911″ and start compression. I had to play devil’s advocate and ask, if there is no one there to call 911 for you, do you start compression and then call, or call first and then start compression.
According to the new video from the heart association the protocol for adults is different than for a child. For an adult you call 911 first, then compression. For a child, do 5 sets of compression and breathing first, then call 911. This was confusing to me. Now you may ask, why this bothered me so much. You see, when my Dad had his heart attack, he was sitting on the couch, not already on the floor the way they start the training. My Mom ran out to get a neighbor and I was left to decide do I call first or figure out how to get him on the floor to start CPR. I admit my first gut reaction was how to get all the furniture out of the way and get him down safely without hurting him and we were taught to worry less about a possible broken arm, etc… than saving a life.
I admit even during the training, some of it hit too close to home. Back to making learning real – When they said there was no one to call 911, I was literally going to leave the dummies side and go in the other room to make the pretend call. The instructor said I just had to say “Now I go call 911″. Not realistic enough for me. It is hard to leave someone and calmly answer questions when you know how important the compression is for their life. Luckily, my Mom returned to call 911 and the neighbor arrived to help, but Dad was gone. The paramedics worked on him and while driving to the hospital, revived him, but too much time had elapsed and he was left brain injured. Some of you may know this if you read Our Story on the MFCI site.
So why did I feel the need to write about CPR? For you to practice or learn it to the point that it is a comfort level. According to statistics, under one third of people get the help they need because people are too afraid that they won’t know what to do. Doing something is better than nothing.
I feel it should be taught and practiced as real life – role playing – scenarios because then it becomes second nature and there won’t be any thought process involved. You can go to automatic pilot!
One of the best stories I ever heard was about Walter Payton, Chicago Bears running back, who was well known for his ability to weave in and out of players as though they weren’t even there. When asked how he was able to do this with such ease he explained his training. Walter had set up a training area behind his home which included a hill to run up and down and a series of cones he would dart in and out of. Because he rehearsed the drill so many times, it became a natural part of him and (from a massage therapists’ point of view) he had trained his muscles to react accordingly without thinking. That simple story amazed me and I realized why I used to argue with my old volleyball coach about creating more “game situations” in our drills. Why should I bump to myself 25 times when I am only allowed to touch the ball once? Yes, I get ball control, but I wanted real life.
So that is what I ask of you and knowing CPR! Please make it a natural thing for you and your family. Perhaps a once a month run through scenario or at least a refresher. Be blessed and be a blessing!