How-to CPR posters are widely available. Everyone comes across them in public locations like restaurants and schools. A web-based image search returns thousands of results for home-made and commercially produced charts. Even though these posters are popular and easy to read, they are not an effective way to learn CPR. Printing a CPR poster does not prepare you to save a life when an unexpected emergency occurs.
There are many reasons why printing a CPR poster will not help save a life:
- Posters cover only the most basic details
- Retrieving an reviewing a poster takes time away from treating the victim
- Posters do not answer rescuer’s questions nor provide detailed explanations
- The poster may contain incorrect or out-of-date information
The United States Lifeguard Standards Coalition (USLSC) prepared a 2011 report that summarizes the skills necessary for certification and employment as a lifeguard in America. The report is based on field-leading research and multiple organizations’ past experiences training highly skilled lifeguards. The standards are fully endorsed by the YMCA of the USA, the American Red Cross, and the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA). The goal of a standardized set of training standards is to increase the lifeguard’s ability to prevent injuries and death and hold all certified lifeguards to the same standard.
The USLSC report presents the skills that are most vital to lifeguard training. Based on the research studies reviewed during its preparation, the authors are able to share traits of effective lifeguards and practices that promote safe environments and decreased drowning and near drowning incidents. Lifeguard certification providers need to cover these skills and strategies in depth to ensure that their students are fully prepared to act as lifeguards.
New CPR guidelines take the emphasis off of mouth to mouth breathing and put it on chest compressions. This change makes it possible to save more lives. The next step is widespread CPR education, bringing the knowledge and ability to perform CPR during an emergency into every home and workplace. Delays between the onset of cardiac arrest and beginning CPR lower the victim’s chance of survival.
Often times, up to 75% of the time actually, cardiac arrest victims do not respond to shock treatment. The underlying cause of the cardiac arrest prevents a shock from restarting the heart. In these cases, CPR compressions deliver oxygen to the brain and vital organs, preventing brain damage and death.
Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone. There are no warning signs or symptoms. Victims never know when it will happen, where it will happen, or who will be there to see it happen. Knowing what to do, when an arrest occurs, how to provide emergency care until an ambulance arrives, and the location of the closest AED can make the difference between life and death. Thus, widespread CPR/AED certification course can save many lives.