CPR is something many of us intend to learn but most of us don’t get round to it. When Durban-based Alison Stokes’ proactive Melville family arranged a Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and choking course within the confines of their own home, she decided to join them.
As the ex-principal of a large pre-primary school, I’d invited authorities to administer First Aid courses to my staff and me on a regular basis. It is, however, frightening how much one forgets after a while, and amazing how guidelines for conducting CPR and other First Aid techniques change from time to time as knowledge about their effectiveness increases and the ability to save lives also improves.
I know, from first-hand experience, how quick it is for children to put foreign objects into their mouths and how easily this can lead to choking. Prompt action could be the difference between life and death. The same applies to CPR and other First Aid functions.
A lecturer from a company called Pulse Point ran our course, which began with an overview of the legalities and ethics of First Aid and patient consent, followed by a brief history of CPR and its application. He also dealt with when to stop CPR, Automated External Defibrillators (AED) or portable electronic devices that diagnose life-threatening arrhythmias, rescue breathing and two-person rescues. Importantly, we learnt the differences between dealing with choking in adults, children and infants, and infant CPR.
The instructor brought with him two adult dummies and two infant dummies and allowed us loads of time to practise and re-practise our skills until we all felt quite competent to perform CPR and also to save someone from choking. After all, there’s always the possibility that a stranger may need our help.
Often we’re loath to get too close to people we don’t know fearing diseases like hepatitis and AIDS, but we can protect ourselves by using a plastic mouthpiece which prevents direct contact.
At the end of the session we received certificates valid for 2 years.
Alison urges individuals, families and business owners to consider attending such courses, which can be tailored to your needs. Pulse Point is but one of many course-givers and can be contacted on 011 477 9999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org