A Life Saved By CPR

  • First aid courses The sun was shining this warm summer afternoon and people were outside enjoying it. A group of men had gathered near a local shopping mall parking lot to play a friendly game of basketball. The play was active, the temperature climbing and everyone thoroughly enjoying themselves...until the unexpected happened.

    I was the nurse receiving the patient as medics brought him into the ER that afternoon.

    "Collapsed while playing basketball down the street. Fortunately, someone grabbed the AED and he's back," the medic reported on arrival. The patient was sitting upright watching impassively as the paramedics transferred him onto the waiting bed in that tiny ER exam room.

    I glanced at the patient who smiled at me and shrugged. You don't know how lucky you are were my thoughts and I smiled back. We proceeded to examine him, text him and scan him for problems. Hours later, this gentleman left the ER with his wife and returned home without injury.

    The heroic act of friends that day saved this man's life. I witnessed the miracle of the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) and was impressed that someone was around the now-famous basketball game who knew how to use it.

    Thank community training programs for this! Courses taught in BLS (Basic Life Support) techniques include skills required to use an AED appropriately. Fortunately, public businesses (such as the shopping mall), airplanes and other public arenas are stocking AEDs in easily accessible and visible areas, much akin to a fire hydrant. The small red box is generally identifiable by the AED letters stamped in white, in addition to a placard positioned visibly for easy location of the device. Finding the AED is one of the initial steps of CPR - a step anyone offering assistance during your initiation of CPR can do to help out.

    Use of the AED is not relegated to medical professionals who are trained to recognized arrhythmias in an EKG or tracing. BLS trained and certified individuals have the skills necessary to recognize and utilize an AED during an emergent event. The design is brilliantly simple with its application just as easy. Following pictures and a computerized voice that instructs the user with each step allows the rescuer to deliver a life-saving "shock" when advised. In fact, that is exactly what happens. The device instructs where to place the pads then continues instruction with verbal commands.

    Keeping a clear head and following instructions is required to use this device. BLS or  to support its proper use provides the added support of familiarity and practice and is the appropriate measure to take prior to using an AED. Life saving defibrillation has been proven to be a major factor in improved outcomes from sudden cardiac arrest. With the introduction of the AED into public awareness, lives have been saved and will continue so. My patient will attest to that....after he finishes the next game of Round Robin!

    Zack Zarrilli is a Firefighter and the owner of SureFire CPR. His company is comprised of Firefighters, Paramedics, Lifeguards, and EMTs who teach hundreds of CPR, BLS, ACLS, PALS, NRP, AED, and First Aid classes every year. SureFire CPR's instructors teach from their own real world experience and specialize in on-site CPR and First Aid training in all of Southern California.

    Most professions nowadays require employees to undertake a first aid course as part of their training. However, not all employees have to enroll in the same type of course, as different workplaces may have different first aid training requirements. Read below to find out more about the various types of first aid courses that exist, as well as who should participate in them.

    • Standard or Basic First Aid Course:

    This type of course, sometimes referred to as Emergency First Aid, is especially created for the general public. It covers all the basic principles of first aid training, and it is meant for people who do not work in places where accidents are very likely to occur or in workplaces without specific first aid requirements. A standard first aid course is also suitable for pupils, students, stay at home parents, or elderly people.

    • Advanced First Aid Course:

    Apart from the standard principles of first aid, this type of course also deals with the use of oxygen and automated external defibrillators (AED) when taking care of victims. The Advanced First Aid Course, which is sometimes called Advanced Life Support, is most suitable for first aid employees or mangers of first aid facilities. This course is also useful for any employee working in a facility equipped with an oxygen tank and mask and an AED.

    • Aquatic or Marine First Aid Course:

    This is a specific type of first aid course, meant for people who work as lifeguards, sailors, rescue divers, or any other profession involving activities performed on or in the water. The aquatic first aid course deals with specific situations, such as pulling a victim out of the water or providing care for a victim that cannot reach a medical facility very fast (which can occur, for example, when a ship is stranded at sea).

    • Wilderness First Aid Course:

    First aid courses Also called Remote or Outdoors First Aid, this course teaches participants how to provide first aid in remote locations, where the arrival professional medical help can be delayed and where there is no access to specialized equipment. Wilderness First Aid Course is fit for mountain rescue, professional hikers, or the average citizen who enjoys spending time in the great outdoors.

    • Mental Health First Aid Course:

    Not only physical ailments require first aid intervention. In a Mental Health First Aid Course, participants can learn how to provide support for people affected by mental illnesses or for someone who is undergoing a stressful situation. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn the first signs of a mental disease; in this way, the will be able to guide the person in question towards adequate medical help. This type of course is most appropriate for physiologists and school counselors.

    These are some of the most important first aid courses available for employees. Other specific training courses include Babysitter Training, Battlefield First Aid, Hydrofluoric Acid First Aid, or Dog and Cat First Aid. So, you see, whatever your profession may be, you can surely find a first aid course that is just right for you.

    There are numerous first aid courses available for both the general public and specialized professionals. First aid training courses focus on teaching individuals how to respond to several emergency situations in ways that can alleviate the patient's condition. Read below to find out eight facts about a first aid course that you may not know, but you should.

    1. The first recorded data detailing someone delivering first aid dates from the 11th Century, when religious knights, more specifically the Knights Hospitaller, provided care to pilgrims or people who sustained injuries during battles.

    2. The foundations of the Red Cross, today's largest non-governmental, non-for-profit first aid organizations, were established in 1963 at Geneva. The organization was initially called the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded. The American Red Cross was founded during the Civil War; more specifically, on the 21st of May, 1881, in Washington, D.C.

    3. The first ever first aid class was held in a school in the district of Woolwich, London, UK. The curriculum for that course was developed by a military surgeon, Major Peter Shepherd, who also was the instructor for that course, alongside a colleague doctor. From that moment on, numerous national and international organizations started offering first aid courses to the general public or to certain types of professionals.

    4. First aid courses are typically taught together with a CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) training course. They are often grouped together because both courses deal with maneuvers performed in emergency situations and they share some basic principles. Of course, you can choose to take each course separately, but taking them together will save you time and money.

    5. People who undergo first aid courses and are involved in rescue activities, are under the protection of the Good Samaritan Laws. This basically means that if you try to help an injured person, you are not subject to any lawsuits, as long as you did not act in an invasive or neglectful manner towards the victim.

    6. Most first aid courses, apart from theoretical presentations, also organize activities and games that can help the participants to more easily retain the information. These activities include first aid flash cards, role playing, and the use of manikins to simulate various medical situations.

    7. The international symbol for first aid is a white cross on a green background. Some organizations may use different symbols, such as the star of life, the Maltese Cross, or a red cross.

    8. In the United States, there is no legislation that regulates the content of a first aid course or that offers standards for the classification of various levels of courses. However, it is recommended that the curriculum for first aid courses follows Red Cross and American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines.

    First aid courses These are some interesting and fun facts you should know about first aid courses. It is always good to know some history and background information before you enroll in this type of course, so make sure you research a bit before attending your first class.