When accidents and medical emergencies happen, time is of the essence. Immediate, skillful response can save lives.
You don’t have to be a medical professional to save a life. Even a short course can teach you how to quickly assess a situation, know what to do and how to do it, and give you the confidence and experience to react effectively.
A basic CPR and first aid course will teach you the following:
Assessing a situation
Before leaping into action, it’s important to learn as much as possible about a situation as quickly as possible. CPR and first aid courses will teach you to recognize various emergency situations and accurately describe them to a 911 operator. You will learn how to minimize risk to both the injured person and yourself. You will learn how to perform a hands on check of a conscious or unconscious victim.
Another objective of a CPR and first aid course is to ensure that you can assess your own capacities in regard to emergency situations. Know what you can and cannot do, so you can act with confidence, not recklessness.
Performing CPR on Adults and Children
If someone experiences cardiac arrest outside of a hospital, there is about a 90% chance they will die. CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) can dramatically improve the chance of survival.
Here, too, a good course will cover knowledge and practice. You will learn how to recognize cardiac arrest, understand why CPR is important and how it works, and learn how to safely and effectively perform CPR. Some CPR and first aid courses will only teach you CPR for adults or children, while some will cover both.
Some classes will also cover how to use an AED (automated external defibrillator). As AEDs become more commonplace, this is a handy skill to have.
Performing First Aid
When an accident or injury occurs, or an illness comes on suddenly, there are simple acts you can perform to save lives and prevent further bodily damage.
A CPR and first aid class will teach you how to recognize dangerous signs of illness and injury. You will learn how to help someone who is having a seizure, suffering from extreme heat or cold, or has been exposed to a poison. You will learn how to control bleeding and the basics of wound care, and how to recognize and respond to head and spinal injuries.
Choking is a particular risk to young children and the elderly. A CPR and first aid class will teach you how to safely help choking victims of different ages.
Why Everyone Should Take a CPR and First Aid Class
While half of Americans claim to know CPR, when pressed for details far fewer actually know when and how to perform it. If you are a parent, caregiver, or adventurer, taking a class in CPR and first aid will give you immense peace of mind and confidence in your day to day life. Even if you aren’t regularly responsible for other people, you never know when you will find yourself in an emergency situation. Knowing what to do in the minutes between calling 911 and help arriving can make all the difference.