Do you know what month February was? Heart month!
Do you know what happened in our building twice in two weeks during that month? Two lives were saved!
We had two cardiac related incidents in our building and with the quick actions of bystanders calling 911 and administering the use of our AEDs (Automated External Defibrillator) and CPR, both incidents were successful outcomes.
If there is one message I can hammer home with this article, this is it. If you are in the presence of an emergency situation there are two things to remember:
1. Call 911
2. Look for an AED, turn it on and LISTEN to it
AEDs are designed to be very easy to use. Actually, they were designed with the premise that an 8 year old would be able to turn it on and operate it. You do not need to have any special training to use one and there is no expectation for you to do anything more than applying the AED and follow the instructions. You really can’t do anything wrong if you follow the instructions. The AED will not let you shock someone who does not need to be shocked.
Something else to take great comfort in is having 911 dispatchers telling you exactly what to do. They can walk you through step by step exactly what you need to do to help someone in need.
Many people feel very intimidated when you mention administering CPR. They feel they won’t do it correctly, that they may hurt someone or that they may get sued for not doing something right. If you don’t have formal training in first aid, the most basic thing you can do for someone is called “Hands Only CPR”. This is where you are not expected to breathe for the individual; you simply place your hands on the center of the chest and apply compressions “hard and fast”.
Don’t get me wrong, taking a first aid course and learning good technique is invaluable but know that not doing anything isn’t going to offer a better outcome for someone in distress. Call 911, find an AED, turn it on and LISTEN.
Sarah Estabrooks, Kinesiologist
Sarah Estabrooks is a kinesiologist and runs the Fitness Centre at the Human Performance Centre. She can be contacted at 738-3554.