Becoming CPR Certified

One of my goals is to become CPR certified. This important life skill is one everyone should know, because it can help save lives. When needed, you can jump into action and assist the person in need.

CPR stands for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, meaning, if a person stops breathing, due to choking or another health problem, or their heart stops beating, this technique can be used to restore blood flow to their body and organs. This emergency procedure is done to prevent death or brain damage due to a lack of oxygen flow. CPR is a skill everyone in the medical field needs to know, as well as those working in our community. However, have you ever thought about the importance of being CPR certified? What if someone starts choking at the restaurant where you are having dinner, and you are the only one able to assist them until help arrives?

According to the American Heart Association, 70% of Americans feel helpless in a cardiac emergency, because they don’t know what to do. In fact, 88% percent of cardiac arrests happen at home. What if your parent, child, or spouse goes into cardiac arrest? Don’t you want to help save them? One key thing to know is sudden cardiac arrest is not a heart attack. It is when a person’s electrical impulses in the heart become rapid, causing the heart to immediately stop beating. A heart attack is when a person’s blood supply to the heart muscle is blocked. An attack may cause cardiac arrest.

Becoming CPR certified, or at least knowing the basics of the technique, is a skill everyone can and should learn. CPR and First Aid classes are held throughout our community. Forsyth Tech, Wake Forest Baptist, and the American Red Cross are just a few facilities offering classes. There are several levels for being CPR certified. When it comes to deciding which level to take, look at how you’ll be needing and using CPR. Look at your lifestyle, career, and family. Are you in the medical field? Are you a teacher? Also, keep in mind the age of the people you’ll work with, if possible. Examples of the CPR levels include standard CPR, hands-only CPR, Emergency First Aid, and Health Care Provision. Research the level, class, and location at which you would like to complete your CPR certification and training. Speak to someone at that location, if needed, before registering. A good thing about becoming CPR certified is that there are classes and levels for people of all ages. In fact, the American Red Cross offers a babysitting and child- care class for people 11 years of age and older. Also, some portions of classes can be completed online.

If you are still unsure whether or not to become CPR certified, it always helps to know the basic techniques of CPR. When someone becomes unresponsive from cardiac arrest or is not breathing normally or at all, the first thing to do is call 911. Then, push hard and fast on the center of that person’s chest. This technique is referred to as hands-only CPR, and anyone can learn how to do it. Remember to push down about 2 inches deep on the chest and push at a rate of about 100 to 120 beats per minute. Don’t know what the rate of 100 to 120 beats per minute sounds like? Medical researchers suggest thinking about the tempo of the BeeGee’s song “Staying Alive.” The hands-only technique is different for infants and children. According to the American Red Cross, for infants, you should use two fingers for 30 quick compressions that are about 1.5 inches deep. For children, place the heel of one hand onto the center of their chest and place the heel of the other hand on top of the first and lace fingers together. Complete 30 quick compressions about 2 inches deep.

Make it a goal to become CPR certified. If not, at least learn the very basics. You never know when this important life skill will be needed to help save a person’s life.