It can be hard to make sense of the facts regarding first aid and basic life support skills. From first aid courses to articles online, there is a lot of information available, and it can be difficult to distinguish the facts from misinformation or myths. So follow along to find out real facts about CPR and AED that everyone should know so that you can help save lives in an emergency situation. These simple facts cover the basics of what you need to know, and CPR/AED training will teach you all the skills you need to know to handle a variety of medical emergencies.
6 Important Facts About CPR and AED
1. When a person is unresponsive, CPR must be administered immediately.
CPR manually pumps blood to the heart and provides oxygen to the brain, which prevents severe organ damage, brain damage, or death. The American Heart Association reports that when CPR has been performed right away, a cardiac arrest victim’s chances of survival are double, or even triple, what they are when CPR is not executed immediately.
2. CPR is not intended to restart a heart.
AEDs are medical devices required to deliver an electric shock that can restart the normal heart rhythm in the event of cardiac emergencies.
3. Continue to perform CPR and leave an AED on and running, even after you’ve called for help.
While an AED can provide a shock to correct fatal arrhythmias of the heart, these arrhythmias can recur, even after a shock is administered. CPR pumps blood and oxygen to the major organs in the body, but it only works while it’s being performed. Don’t stop treating a victim until a first responder like a firefighter or EMT has arrived at the scene and is ready to take over.
4. Chest compressions should be performed at a rate of about 100 compressions per minute.
You should push down the victim’s chest firmly with both hands, compressing approximately 2 inches. It can be difficult to sustain performing CPR on your own – ideally, you can take turns switching out with another person so you can take a break from the chest compressions.
5. CPR is safe to perform, even if you don’t have CPR certification or education in first aid or basic life support.
You should always attempt to perform CPR in an emergency situation, even if you’re not sure if it’s required, keeping in mind that there is little chance of harming the victim by doing it wrong. When in doubt, don’t delay in administering CPR, as even a minute or two can make a difference in a victim’s survival.
6. AEDs are simple to use.
Even elementary school children have demonstrated the ability to use AED or Automated External Defibrillator. In the case of an emergency, the voice automation feature will walk you through how to use the device and will instruct you on exactly how to use it to save lives. The AED “advises” a shock and the operator must press the shock button to deliver the shock.
Whether you’ve completed or just read these basic tips, getting involved in an emergency is always important. Even if you don’t have full CPR certification or have never tried operating an Automated External Defibrillator, you must attempt to help when someone’s life is at stake. Delivering CPR or using an AED within the first minutes of a cardiac arrest will significantly increase a victim’s survival rate. CPR/AED training
Consider combining your new knowledge of these basic facts with a comprehensive training course that will teach you all the tools you need for basic life support and first aid, as well as how to use an AED and perform CPR properly. Training on CPR and AED techniques will increase your education and give you the confidence to step in during an emergency. You can also test your knowledge by taking BLS certification practice test online.