Many medical emergencies require quick action from a trained bystander to save a person’s life. You are talking with your grandfather and his face suddenly droops and his speech slurs. You are out to dinner and your mother starts to choke. Your allergic friend just mistakenly ate a bar with peanuts. Your father complains of indigestion and chest pain. Your toddler is playing with a now-empty pill vial. Your co-worker gets shocked by high voltage. Any of these situations could represent an emergency in which time is of the utmost importance.
According to the American Heart Association, more than 356,000 cardiac arrests occur outside a hospital in the U.S. each year. Overall survival rates remain low, and most studies indicate that around 1 out 10 will survive to 30 days. CPR started prior to the arrival of paramedics has repeatedly been shown to be associated with survival rates 2–3 times higher compared with no such rescue attempt. The sooner you start CPR and get an AED if one is available the better the survival rates.
Other examples include workplace accidents which can quickly lead to shock if immediate steps aren’t taken to control severe bleeding. Alternatively, a severe allergic reaction can become deadly within minutes without treatment (e.g., epinephrine autoinjector).
Knowing what to do in the moment is critical to a safe and efficacious response. What can and should you do in a medical emergency?
1. Make sure the scene is safe for you to approach the victim? E.g. Has there been a chemical spill or is there a live electrical line?
2. Call 9-1-1
3. Start CPR is the victim is not responding.
4. Stop bleeding with direct pressure or a tourniquet is necessary.
5. See Recognizing Medical Emergencies from the National Library of Medicine for more information.
First aid certified people have the training to provide appropriate first aid care for everyday life, as well as during life-threatening situations where professional help from emergency services might be delayed.
Full CPR, AED and First Aid training gives students the knowledge and confidence to respond to a variety of medical emergencies. This includes but isn’t limited to:
Sudden cardiac arrest
Heart attack or stroke
Diabetic medical emergency
Heat and cold emergencies
At Rockwall CPR we teach CPR/AED and First Aid training courses for both healthcare professionals (BLS) and lay people.