CMA Report #2Welcome back to the second class of the Joplin CMA. Thanks for joining me.
Arriving with our dessert (hot apple crisp), we found Ed, Steph, John and Karen already there. The others arrived shortly, and Marc introduced us to our instructor, James Harrison.
Marc told us he was leaving and then walked out of the room and shut the door. Just for the fun of it, we all started cheering when he left. The back door of the room opened and Marc says,
“He’ll be in charge,” looking at the other guy who came in with him. (I think it was the evening shift supervisor.) The new guy asked suspiciously,
“What was all that hootin’ and hollerin’ when Marc left?”
No one would say.:)
James informed us that we would eat while we watched the video. Then we would do the hands-on things.
“I always like to get the paperwork done first and get it out of the way,” he told us. James has been teaching CPR classes there at METS for years.
“Everything was the same for the first sixteen years, and then they suddenly changed it in ‘07. You might have heard on the news that CPR is now “hands free,” but it isn’t. Out of the ten minutes of news they give, only about sixty seconds is true. (That sure is the truth.) What that “hands free CPR” really means is that if you see the person have the cardiac arrest, you do not have to do the breathing on them. You have to pump their heart, but they do still have air in their lungs, and pumping the heart will keep it circulating. But if you do not see the arrest but just find a person somewhere and they aren’t breathing nor do they have a heart beat, you must do the breathing for them.”
There was a little more explanation and then we got our food. We watched the instruction video for CPR with pauses now and then as James explained something to us or interjected something.
Here is something you probably don’t know. In which city in the U.S. would you be most likely to recover from cardiac arrest if someone did CPR on you? Kansas City and Joplin with 47% recovery rate. (I knew Joplin was a good town to live in. Does anyone want to move?) Chicago, New York and LA have much lower percentage rates.
After we watched, we had a short break and then got to do the actual hands-on CPR practice. Since there were 11 of us, James divided us into three groups of three and one group of two. Let me mention that though there used to be so many breaths for so many compressions if the victim was an infant, a child or an adult, it is now two breaths to thirty compressions no matter how old the victim is. It certainly makes it easier to remember. Roger, Ed and Steph were up first.
They had to pump the heart for one entire minute. They were rather tired when they finished. Then it was John, Dad and me.
I didn’t think it was too bad. We did have to count out loud as we did it though.
Lynn, Karen and Frankie followed us with the group of two being Paula and Mandy.
When I first learned CPR, I always practiced everything at once: breathing and chest compressions along with checking the victim and calling for help. James had us do it backwards. We first did compressions, then we added breaths, then we added the other things. When John, Dad and I were at the “victims” James told us our situation and asked what we do first.
Dad: “Check the scene.”
James: “Check the scene to make sure it is safe for you. If it is not safe for you, maybe with power lines down, or someone shooting, don’t go to the victim, or you could be a victim too. Once the safety of the scene is established, what do you do next?”
John: “ See if the victim is okay.”
We had to check our victims. My poor guy looked really bad.:) He didn’t respond at all.
James: “What next?”
Dad and John: “Call for help.”
“Okay,” James says, “but you are all alone. There is no one nearby at all, so what should you do next?”
Dad and John suggested breathing and starting CPR and checking to see if the victim is breathing.
James kept shaking his head.
I said, “Head tilt, chin lift,” as I did that to my victim.
“Wow! She’s the quietest one! Hasn’t said a word all evening, and she gets it right!” James was really excited. He had to come give me a high five. I didn’t realize that I had done such an unusual thing. I mean, if the air way is not open, it is really hard to breathe. Besides, he had told us that if you open the airway by a head tilt, chin lift, the person sometimes starts breathing. Besides, he had had us say “head tilt, chin lift” enough times that evening.
Okay, after James calmed down, we checked our victims. Mine certainly wasn’t breathing. We immediately went into two breaths, thirty compressions, two breaths, thirty compressions.
When you do CPR, you are supposed to do it for two minutes which is five cycles of two breaths and thirty compressions.
An infant has the same, only you do the compressions with two fingers. On a child 1-8 (unless the child is large) only do compressions with one hand. The adults get two hands.
If the victim is an adult and you are alone, call 9-1-1 first and then start CPR. If the victim is a child or infant, start CPR and then after the first two minutes, call 9-1-1.
Here is some advice for anyone dealing with an infant needing CPR. (I hope you never have to.) Take the infant to the phone with you. You can do CPR while you talk. It was amazing how many people don’t do that.
What next? Ah, the AED was brought out. I have forgotten the exact words AED stands for, but basically it is an electric shocking device to try to get the heart to work. We didn’t actually get to try one, but having done it before and having him tell us, it isn’t hard. Just make sure no one is touching the victim when you administer the shock.:) Also, no one ages 7 and under will get shocked. At least not by an AED. James said they might do it on the ambulance.
After that we all got our CPR cards. They don’t have to be renewed for two years. How nice. James also said that if anyone needs their CPR renewed or to learn it, then to go to the METS web site, as they are doing CPR almost every day. Anyone need it?
We were dismissed a little early and headed home.
I’m glad you could join me here at the CMA as we learned CPR. I hope you come again next week as we delve into Medical Emergencies. Until then, this is Rebekah.
Did you learn anything?