A person chokes when a foreign object becomes trapped at the back of the throat, either blocking the airway of causing a muscle spasm. Choking in adults is often caused by improperly chewed foods. In addition to choking on food, an infant or child may put a small object in their mouth that becomes trapped in the throat.
Symptoms of Choking:
- Difficulty speaking
- Trouble breathing
- Congested face turning to a gray-blue color
- Distress signs, such as pointing to the throat or grasping the neck
Treatment for a Conscious Adult Choking Victim:
- Choking requires immediate action
- Ask, “Are you choking?” If the victim can respond by speaking or coughing, there is no need to begin medical treatment. Continue to monitor the victim.
- If the victim is unable to speak or cough, begin the Heimlich Maneuver, a system of abdominal thrusts that work to clear the throat:
- The rescuer stands behind the victim, bringing his arms around the victim’s abdomen
- The rescuer will make a fist with one hand, placing his thumb against the victim’s abdomen. The opposite hand reaches around the victim and grasps the fist to provide support
- The rescuer links his hands below the victim’s rib-cage and pulls inward and upward with a strong force until the object is expelled
- Discontinue the Heimlich Maneuver when the victim begins to cough, speak, or lose consciousness
Treatment for an Unconscious Adult Choking Victim:
- Call 911
- Lay the victim face up on the floor
- Use one hand to support and position the victim’s chin. Use the thumb of that hand to depress the victim’s tongue while grasping the chin with the palm and fingers. At the same time, lift the jaw. Use the index finger of the opposite hand as a hook to clear any foreign materials inside the victim’s mouth
- Open the victim’s airway by tilting the head back and raising the chin. Attempt to ventilate the victim (as explained in the CPR guidelines). If the airway is still blocked, re-position the head and attempt to clear it again. If this is still not effective (the chest does not rise), begin compression
- The rescuer should kneel next to the victim and stack his hands over the middle of the victim’s chest. Deliver a series of 15 compression, as used for CPR. Alternate series of 15 compression with attempts to clear the victim’s airway and ventilate, as described in the earlier steps.
- Discontinue compression when the object is ejected, rescue breathing is successful, or the victim begins to breathe independently. Place the revived victim in the recovery position.
Today, learning CPR is a fast and easy process with online CPR Certification course. One can take these live classes anywhere on any device, making it simple to fit this AHA approved training into the busy schedule. Whether people are seeking initial certification or need re-certification for CPR training, CPR Select have a professional course to fit the needs. Hence, by learning adult CPR, one could potentially save a life.
There are many things an adult should be aware of, and CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is one of them. In fact, it has been found that the average 13 year is taught CPR procedures in high school or at gym, while many adults remain sadly unaware of how to administer it.
In many states in the United States of America, it has been made compulsory for children to learn CPR techniques at high school level so that by the time they graduate, they are well equipped with the skills to save a life should the need ever arise. However, adults fall into the category of the people who are more likely to require CPR. This is because adults are at a higher risk of heart attack as compared to younger children still in high school. Similarly, adults are also more likely to be around when someone else in their age group starts to suffer from a heart attack. Statistically, the chances of someone possessing a knowledge of CPR being around when another person in the vicinity begins to suffer from a heart attack is currently slightly over 1%, making it all the more necessary to learn these techniques.
One school in the United States of America has come up with an interesting technique to ensure that more and more people are familiar with the technique and know what to do when someone else suffers a heart attack in their presence. They teach their students CPR then make it compulsory for them to go home and teach someone else the technique as well. The more people the students educate, the more credits they get. It was found that on average each school student taught 2.5 others.
This “learn and teach” model is very effective since it makes young children take an active part in the learning process and gives them a sense of importance as well. It also makes them more receptive to the information passed on to them, since they know that they need to make sure that someone else knows it too. When you teach someone something, it is always the case that your own knowledge is refreshed and reinforced in a better manner, so that you learn better and are in a better position to answer questions.
For those parents who are not interested in learning CPR from their own, or someone else’s, children, it is still advisable to learn it from elsewhere as well. After all, most heart attacks happen when you least expect them to. When a heart attack happens, CPR is usually performed by other people less than 45% of the time, and that too is done by people who are not sure of what they are doing, so that the success rate is even lower. This makes it all the more necessary to learn the right procedures the right way.
If you are not interested in forking out the money to learn CPR professionally, it is advisable to purchase one of the several home instruction kits that cost less than 40$.
CPR or cardio pulmonary resuscitation is a very common and important method of first aid methodologies for saving a life if you found someone collapsed on floor unconscious. It is important to learn CPR because with only a very little effort you can save a life. Good Samaritan Law also supports the effort of saving someone’s life.
Measures are now taken across the United States to train as many people as possible for administering CPR. This leads to mandatory CPR training in every schools and few states in the country have already made it compulsory. Now it’s Minnesota on its way for legislating law for compulsory CPR training in schools. What made this legislation possible is the story of a woman Jamie LaLonde who survived heart attack.
While telling her story how she became a volunteer activist for mandatory CPR training and certification at schools she said” I remember getting ready for work, and that’s the last thing I remember,” while trying to memorize what happened the day she was victimized by cardiac arrest. “The rest people have told me about.”
Two year back she used to work at a clothing store in the Mall of America. She was about to leave for a break when she suddenly collapsed with a cardiac arrest. She told further that she caters young people on the store knew nothing what to do in such a situation. “They were all 16 to 18-years-old, and not one person around me knew what to do when I fell,” she told.
Within 5 minutes a mall’s security personnel sneaked into the shop and administered CPR. EMS team arrived and shocked her twice with AED and fortunately LaLonde survived. After spending two days in coma when she opened her eyes she had a new aim of life.
She was lucky that her voice reached many and soon she got support Senator Dan Hall (R-Burnsville). He said in the support of this movement turned into legislation “This would be a huge benefit for our society to have bystanders who are trained in CPR,”
Mr. Hall is now trying for the approval of LaLonde’s bill. He said ” We are asking for 30 minutes of CPR training for any child in Minnesota that goes through seventh grade through twelfth grade,”
Hall told that the bill was formulated by AHA (American Heart Association) and the American Red Cross and they will train kids at school voluntarily charging no money from the schools, he said “It’s a small thing for a huge benefit,”
LaLonde has recovered completely. Her aim is now to be a paramedic and going to college soon but she said she dreams of her bill becoming a law. “I really think it will make a huge difference, especially among the young people, It’s teaching young people how to save people.”
Dr. Sam Parnia, M.D. has a very unique medical specialty- resurrection. Dr. Parnia has made recent claims that he can bring patients, who have died hours before, back to life. How is this possible? Can he really bring back the “clinically dead?” What ethical and religious issues does this pose and, more importantly, would you want him to?
Parnia’s book, “The Lazarus Effect,” posits that, should someone die of reversible causes, such as a heart attack or infection, that medical interventions can be performed, post mortem, that will reverse the condition and affectively bring that person back to life. In writing this book, Parnia hoped to expand the medical community’s understanding of death and essentially convince other doctors that his methods can save the lives of up to 40,000 Americans a year without a high cost. The procedures that Parnia posits are not acceptable practices in the medical community, but Parnia is trying to change that with his new book.
Dr. Sam Parnia works at Stony Brook University Hospital in New York as the head of intensive care and was originally trained in the United Kingdom. Recently, he began to question the age-old question: what happens when the body dies? What happens to the soul, the memories…the character of that person? Through his research, he has extrapolated that, in some cases where the cause of death can be reversed, the individual can be resurrected by properly managing their death, allowing them to expire, reversing the condition that resulted in their death and then resuscitating them before brain death occurs.
The big question is how? Parnia speculates that this process is possible by properly and quickly cooling the patient’s body and monitoring oxygen levels in the brain to preserve brain cells and avoid brain damage. He theorizes that the traditional Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) that is typically done when the heart stops, is only done for a short period of time, after which point doctors stop, assuming brain death. However, Parnia asserts that by advancing care and using a process called Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, or ECMO, by which the blood is removed from the body, re-oxygenated and reinserted into the body, doctors can maintain oxygenation in the blood and therefore “buy time” to correct the problem and then restart the heart. In this manner patients can be “clinically dead” for hours, cured and brought back to life so long as the level of oxygen in the brain stays above 45%
When it comes to ethics, Parnia states that he has no religious quandaries about what he is theorizing. He states that he has no religious quandaries about his theories because no one truly knows what happens when we die. He believes that the science of resurrection will allow us to get closer to the answer to the question “What happens when we die?” And more importantly, “Can we bring someone back from the dead?” In addition, this theory begs the question of how we as human beings view mortality, especially considering Parnia is speculating that the human body is getting closer to being “immortal.”
Image courtesy toe tag 7/365
First aid for a person on the verge of death may add a new life to the victim. There are several situations in which a precious life can be saved by giving timely first aid to the victim of an accident or a person seeking immediate CPR, or to a burnt patient. You might encounter any of these situations to yourself or some one around you on a freeway, working in factory, in a library or in a shopping mall.
So learning first aid techniques is of vital importance, you could be a hero for someone’s life if you know these techniques. You might have seen in movies that one of the actors has fallen and other is pushing his chest. Have you ever thought of it what is it? Why it’s been done? Well this method is known as CPR (Cardio pulmonary resuscitation)
CPR is an important part of first aid training and always saves lives. If you encounter a person fallen on floor in front of you having severe chest pain or unconscious he or she might be a victim of sudden cardiac arrest or choking. In situation like these if you know how to administer CPR you may save his or her life.
What immediately required is to start performing CPR on the victim. Couple your hands and keep pushing until emergency medical team reaches the victim. Although only this can’t save victim’s life in every case and the ratio of survival for such patient is very low. Because this depends on a number of factors like what was the cause of cardiac arrest? How long the patient has been unconscious on the floor? Time taken by emergency medical service to reach the patient also plays a major role in emergency situations. Still this CPR may be a hope for the dying unconscious man.
Along with this there are don’ts of first aid in various situations. There is a large no of common myths that are fallacies wide spread and are mistakes made during giving the first aid. A common mistake made for a burnt or cut situation is application of butter to the victim which is absolutely wrong. Butter in the beginning can soothe the burnt area but will later melt down and being oily it traps the heat resulting in longer burning of the tissue.
Another austere mistaken situation is sucking the venom out in case of a snake bite. Never cut that part with knife and don’t try to suck the venom out. Venom spread in seconds via blood to other parts of body and even if you manage to suck out blood immediately after the bite, even then by sucking, it will penetrate in your body. By this method you might risk your life as well.
For instance if you are certified or have some formal first aid training you can better coupe in emergency situations like these.
The American Red Cross which is also called American National Red Cross, whose prime objective is similar to the International Red Cross. The organization serves the human race regardless of any political and religious discrimination, their primary aim is it to provide relief to human race in any sort of emergency whether it’s a natural disaster or not. A broad spectrum of services is provided by the organization whether there is an emergency of food, medicine, educational assistance, or collection and delivery of blood donations. They are also assisting U.S. military in their camps across the world, serving as bridge between the military servants and their families by maintain communication. Assistance is also provided to the families of soldiers in all sort of legal and financial matter.
The American Red Cross a well-known name across the world in paramedical assistance a service with which the organization started. It has updated its first aid guide lines for victims who are conscious and face choking. According to the new recommendations before performing Heimlich maneuver you should give five back blows to the victim.
Following mentioned are the guidelines given by American Red Cross the guide lines are reproduced as it is.
If you encounter a conscious, choking individual that is coughing, encourage continued coughing. If the victim is unable to cough, speak, or breathe, complete the following:
- Send someone to call 9-1-1
- Lean person forward and give 5 back blows with heel of your hand.
- Give 5 quick abdominal thrusts by placing the thumbside of your fist against the middle of the victim’s abdomen, just above the navel. Grab your fist with the other hand.
- Repeat until the object the person is choking on is forced out and person breathes or coughs on his or her own.
To update the resident of NYC those poster in the city are no longer effective now after these new guide lines released.
CPR and BLS both are important part first aid training. I got my fingers crossed while differentiating between the two. After diving deeper down I found that both are too much coupled to each other that many people refer it as same but there do exist a slight difference among them.
To begin with CPR it is abbreviated from Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, it is applied when a person gets a sudden cardiac arrest by this method a first aid of chest compression by hands is given to the patient to restore the cardio vascular function in combination with rescue breaths if person is not breathing properly.
BLS stands for basic life support, it’s an emergency procedure applied to a patient, it comprises of a number of technique like CPR, Shocking, and first aid treatments to sustain patient’s life until advance medical facility arrives or the person reaches hospital.
If you take a closer look at the two you’ll notice that CPR is a part of BLS, CPR is a single procedure while BLS is a set of procedures carried out in an emergency situation. CPR being a part of BLS is administered specifically to a person with no pulse and breath. BLS is applied in variety of conditions that are life threatening for the victim.
To enlarge the picture in your mind, it is understood that a BLS certified person will also be certified in CPR but it is not necessary that a CPR certified person is also certified in basic life support. To add further in this regard, when a person is clinically dead, he or she has no pulse and no breathes CPR is applied to resuscitate life, and if the revival succeeds BLS is applied immediately to sustain the resuscitated life.
These both also differ on the basis of training duration. In United States there are three levels of CPR training, CPR for Adults only, CPR for infants’ children and adults, and CPR for health care providers. At healthcare provider’s level use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) is also taught while training. However BLS has only one level recognized across the country.
CPR certified person could be a non-medical degree holder. Some students in high schools should compulsory pass the course of CPR before they graduate although they are not trained in any other health related field. Whereas BLS is generally attended by people who are associated with healthcare, they generally have basic first aid knowledge, and have understanding of medical terminologies. To conclude this both activities are interrelated, CPR support BLS and BLS assists CPR in emergency situations.
As different subjects like Science and Mathematics are taught in high schools so there must be some credit hours for CPR, it will be beneficial for the students. Having knowledge of CPR will enable them tackle with a cardiac emergency. Most of the heart attack cases occur outside or away from the hospitals in that case necessary first aid is in the form of CPR to the patient and a valuable life can be saved with this knowledge.
What’s worth mentioning in this regard is Texas lawmakers are concerned about it and two people namely Rep. John Zerwas and Sen. Juan Hinojosa, have a bill HB 897/SB 261 proposed to make it compulsory. With this action, a victim of cardiac arrest would have three times more chances of survival as every teen would know the usage of automated defibrillators.
Till now efforts are made, but these are done locally by non-government organizations like Living for Zachary a memorial organization established by Karen Sarah who lost her kid due to sudden cardiac arrest. They are trying to bring AED’s (automated external defibrillator) to schools and train students but due non-compulsory training only a few of them take part in the training sessions.
Arguments given by American Heart Association are really concrete, as they are key activists behind this legislation. We are mentioning a few of them.
- Maximum cardiac emergencies take place away from hospitals in which around 90% victims face death due insufficient use of CPR and AED.
- A 30 minutes training is enough and can be an additional skill for students, they will be able to survive in cardiac emergency situations.
- There is much flexibility in the implementation of CPR training, it could be easily fit in many classes for instance in the science class or PE or most suitably in the Health class for students between grades 7 to 12.
With this regulation approval, Texas will join five states which have already regulated this CPR skill training compulsory for all graduates. These states include Alabama, Iowa, Minnesota, Tennessee and Vermont.
Texas State’s advocacy member of AHA Dr. Amit Khera who is also the director of UT Southwestern Preventive cardiology program says” Many people are alive today due to bystanders of all ages who were trained in CPR and willing to administer the lifesaving technique until emergency medical personnel could take over. By enacting HB 897/SB 261, Texas can create an entire generation of young adults who are not only proficient in CPR but are prepared to step in and help in an emergency situation. This legislation would require a simple, one-time 30 minute course to be implemented prior to graduation and in turn will equip generations to come with the ability to save lives. An overwhelming 79% of Texans favor this training for high school students.”
March is the month of American Red Cross which was declared by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt because of organization’s assistance and activities in World War II. Red Cross is an eminent name for providing services in both military and civilian sects of human race across the globe, since last 70 years. Red Cross bears with 70,000 Americans in disasters every year. Training of over nine million individuals for basic first aid, collection and distribution of blood which is the 40 percent of total blood supplies are worth mentioning services of the organization. Red Cross is also an active member of military installations supporting families of soldiers, soldiers and other member in a war zone around the world.
The American Red Cross has sustained its custom of assisting not only military service members but their families also. Messaging service of Red Cross operates 24/7 a week and 365 days a year, this service is a very reliable connection between service members and their families relaying all sort of urgent updates timely about births to deaths among them. This service also assists commanders in maintaining their soldiers’ leaves and causalities records accurately. Red Cross serves as a bridge among soldiers and their loved ones helping them in all their financial and legal or even emotional matters by counseling them.
In the Central Prairie area of San Antonio Texas Charlotte Henley addressing the sessions said” You’re busy ticking items off your list at the supermarket when a woman pushing a cart just ahead of you suddenly collapses. Her heart is no longer beating and she’s not breathing. What would you do? If you had training in hands-only CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation), your efforts could mean the difference between life and death” she is the lead CPR instructor of the area.
While delivering sessions on CPR she explained that earlier CPR was administered by giving two breaths and series of chest compressions. She stated “With hands-only CPR you’re only delivering chest compressions,” Henley further added” We’ve learned that chest compressions are a very effective way to help keep the vital organs alive and circulate oxygen while waiting for emergency services. They’ve simplified it significantly.”
In March Central Prairie American Red Cross has planned free sessions of hands-only CPR Blitz at the Campus Center, 333 Ninth St. S.W. Session will be every half hour between 9 AM to 2 PM on Saturday March 9. Also an annual “Heroes for the American Red Cross” campaign is aimed to collect some funds from 9th march till 31st march, and funds collected during this campaign will be utilized for disaster management and buying first aid/ emergency equipment’s like AED’s used for CPR.
You must be wondering what AED stands for. AED is automated external defibrillator which is a device used for giving first aid to heart patients.
Wikipedia defines the AED as:
“A portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmia’s of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient, and is able to treat them through defibrillation, the application of electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm.”
In simple words, it is a device that lets you monitor the heart rate of a patient and if necessary give electric shocks to the patient’s heart to stabilize it. Even though the device sounds technical, it is designed simply so even a layman can use it. AED training and certification is available during first aid workshops, first responder and basic life support and CPR training programs. An AED can be used is life threatening situations where the patient’s heart is working, but its heart rate pattern is fatal.
How does AED work?
Learning to use an AED is highly intuitive and astonishingly simple. Many people have reported that it is far easier than learning CPR. Current AED courses usually last about three to four hours, include hands-on practice and help increase user competence and confidence.
An AED can be used to shock a patient’s heart back into a normal beating pattern. It is important to bear in mind that an AED only complements manual CPR in life threatening situations.
The AED protocol has seven basic steps:
- Check unresponsiveness.
Establish that the patient is unresponsive or unconscious. You can try talking to the patient, moving things in front of his eyes to check whether his pupils follow, or even gently tap the patient’s face to see if he or she responds.
- Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number (if applicable) and retrieve the AED.
Even if you have an AED with you, it’s important to notify EMS.
- Open the airway and check for breathing. If there is no breathing or breathing appears abnormal, give two slow breaths.
When the heart stops, even though there is no circulation, the victim may continue ineffective breathing motions. Ensure that the windpipe is straight and that there are no obstacles blocking the nostrils or the mouth. Also, there should be no pressure on the throat to allow for easy breathing.
- Check for a pulse. If there is no pulse, turn on the AED. A second rescuer should continue CPR until the AED is attached.
If there is no pulse, turn on the AED power. Press the “on” button or open the lid, depending on the device. If a second rescuer is available, he or she should continue CPR until the AED is attached.
- Attach the AED electrode pads.
Bare the victim’s chest and make sure it is dry. Remove the adhesive AED electrode pads from the package and attach them firmly to the chest, as illustrated on the package. It is very important to place pads correctly so that the electric current passes through the heart. One pad should be placed on the victim’s upper right chest, the other on the lower left chest. Thick chest hair should be removed prior to pad placement to ensure adequate contact.
- Analyze the heart rhythm. Make sure no one is touching the victim.
Some AEDs analyze the heart rhythm automatically. Other models prompt you to press the analyze button. Follow the AED’s prompt and call out, “Analyzing rhythm, stand clear!” or “I’m clear, you’re clear, we’re all clear!” or words to this effect. Make sure no one is touching the victim when the AED is analyzing.
If the AED indicates “shock advised” go to step 7.
If the AED indicates that the victim does not need to be shocked, check his or her pulse again. If there is no pulse, do CPR (ventilation and chest compression) for one minute, instruct onlookers to stand clear, and analyze again. Repeat this sequence of CPR and analysis every minute until help arrives.
- Press the “shock” button, if advised. Make sure no one is touching the victim.
If the AED determines that the victim does need to be shocked, it will prompt you to press the shock button. To ensure the safety of onlookers, make sure no one is touching the victim. Call out, “Shock indicated. Stand clear!” Or, say, “I’m clear, you’re clear, we’re all clear,” or words to this effect. Then, press the shock button. Sometimes, the victim will be revived after just one shock.
- After the first shock is delivered, immediately analyze again. If the AED advises that another shock is needed, press the shock button a second time.
- After the second shock is delivered, immediately analyze again. If the AED advises that another shock is needed, press the shock button a third time.
- After three shocks, if the victim still has no pulse, do CPR (ventilation and chest compression) for one minute.
Then, if there still is no pulse, give additional sets of three quick shocks, interspersed with one minute of CPR, until the AED prompts that no shock is indicated.
Note: The AED will deliver appropriate energy levels for each shock. Continue cycles of one minute of CPR followed by heart rhythm analysis and appropriate shocks until advanced help arrives.
The most important thing to remember when using an AED is to confirm that the victim is unresponsive, not breathing normally and pulseless. For all such victims in confirmed cardiac arrest, turn on the power, analyze, and the AED will coach you through the rest of the steps with visual and/or audio prompts. There is no need to be anxious. Even if you get flustered, as people often do in emergencies, the AED will be your guide.
Sources: Wikipedia, early-defib.org