12 January 2010

CPR Class

And now I am CPR qualified again for the first time since my instructor's card ran out in 2006. Class A only, which is adult CPR, and only at the provider level, but that's fine with me.

About the only thing different from when I used to teach the class is now there are 30 compressions per 2 breaths instead of 15 and 2.

Twenty five years ago when I got my first provider qual it was 5 and 1, then it was 15/2 for a single rescuer and 5/1 for two. Later on it was 15/2 for both single and double rescuers, then it was single only and if there were two rescuers they swapped out when one got tired.

Finding hand positions went from finding the notch and going two fingers up to finding the center of the chest at the nipple line. It's easier to find your position that way, which was the point of the change.

Automatic External Defibrillators are also something that is new in the last 10 years. The availability of AED's have saved lives, having one is much better than CPR alone and can make the difference between recovery and not. They used to be found just on ambulances and in hospitals, but now they can be found almost everywhere. Look around, I'll bet you have one in the building where you work.

Under the old guidelines rescuers looked for a pulse, but just before I retired they changed it. They found out that most non-medical people could not locate a pulse when there was one, and sometimes found their own pulse when there wasn't one. So to make it easy, no breathing equals no pulse.

Now they have discovered that chest compressions alone will provide enough air flow through the lungs that breathing may not be needed. The new guidelines roll-out is expected to eliminate rescue breathing at all. I guess I will find out next year.

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