Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency procedure that involves compressing the chest and offering artificial respiration or rescue breathing to the individual. When CPR is done in the proper manner it has the ability to resume blood flow to the brain in someone who is experiencing cardiac arrest. The key aim is the keep the individual alive until formal medical help (ie ambulance with emergency personnel) arrives. Remember, it only takes 4-5 minutes for the brain to suffer permanent injury without oxygen.
When an individual’s heart stops beating and he/she is unable to breathe, this is what is known as a cardiac arrest. There are many causes of a cardiac arrest which may include a heart attack, stroke, electrocution, drowning, suffocation, overdose from a drug or injury from a motor vehicle accident.
There was a time when CPR was only recommended for healthcare professionals. Over the years it has been recognized that people do not only arrest in hospitals, but in fact, the majority of people suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospitals. Thus, CPR is now being taught to family members, irrespective of their education. There is absolutely no question that when CPR is done appropriately it saves lives.
Who can take the Family CPR course?
The American Heart Association (AHA) has specifically designed a CPR course for Family and Friends. The course is primarily designed for individuals who do not want a certificate in CPR but would like to know the essentials of how to save a life. The course is ideal for family members that may include new parents, baby sitters, grand parents, older children and any one else in the family.
What practical things are taught in the CPR course?
Unlike healthcare professionals, CPR courses for family members are shorter, practical and concise. Only the bare essentials things are taught that can save a life. Today many organizations offer CPR training to families. The shorten version deals with the following PRACTICAL issues:
- How to perform a one person rescue
- How to perform a two person rescue
- How to help a child or any family member who is choking
- How to perform CPR in an infant
- How to perform child CPR with breathing methods
- How to use a defibrillator
What facts are taught in the Family Oriented CPR?
Because of time limit, the course for Family and Friends usually only covers the essentials such as recognition of a life threatening event. This may include a heart attack, recognizing symptoms of a stroke, choking on food or a foreign body, an allergic reaction, severe bleeding, head injury and shock. The course teaches family members the bare essentials of what to do until formal medical help arrives (ie 911). The parent or family member will primarily learn how to deal with an emergency situation that affect infants and young children.
How long is the Family Oriented CPR course?
The family oriented CPR course is no more than 2-3 hours and is relatively cheap. Almost all courses provide training material that is included in the fee. The course teaches skills in a group environment by using established methods developed by the AHA. This may include watching videos, hands on CPR practice and reading brochures. The AHA Family and Friends CPR course is now available in almost every city and town. Many healthcare institutions also offer this course.