Common Fears – CPR

For people who suffer cardiac arrest outside of a  hospital, the biggest difference between those who survive and those who don’t is that a bystander performed CPR on the survivors.

The difference is that stark. CPR can double or even triple the chance of survival. And for those who suffer cardiac arrest outside of a hospital, surviving often means getting CPR from a passing layperson who may not be a medical professional.

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How Deep Should You Go?

When a person goes into cardiac arrest, their heart stops pumping blood—and the brain begins to starve of oxygen. CPR is a simple, very effective procedure that allows a provider to function as the patient’s heart—pumping blood through the body by hand until emergency rescue arrives. Anyone can do CPR, and it’s very easy to learn.

So, how do you act as the patient’s heart? The answer is chest compressions. In CPR, the rescuer places the heel of one hand on the patient’s chest, between the nipples. The second hand goes over the first, and then the rescuer pushes down, hard and fast, in the center of the chest.

Ideal depth for CPR chest compressions

We often get asked the question—what’s the ideal depth for CPR chest compressions? The answer is no deeper than 5.5 centimeters, or about two inches, in adults. Any deeper, and you could damage internal organs. Any shallower, however, and you may not be pumping blood effectively through the body.

Two inches may not sound like a lot. However, it takes a lot of force to compress a human chest by two inches—about sixty pounds of force. It’s easy to over-deliver if you have a lot of strength, and it’s easy to be too delicate about it as well—especially if you don’t have experience pushing on a human body with that kind of force, and don’t know what it feels like.

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A small gallery

If you woke up one morning and found that your home was in the path of a natural disaster, like a wildfire or a hurricane, would you know what to do to stay safe? In these scenarios, there is often little time to react, so having a plan before it happens can be critical to your safety and survival. Do you know what to do to be prepared?

  • So how can you protect your family? Is it possible to avoid these dangers completely? Since many natural disasters are random events of nature, the answer is no. Instead of trying to avoid disasters, you’re better off learning how to manage them. This starts with understanding the health and safety risks associated with each type of disaster, and the critical first aid that can make the difference between life and death in the aftermath.
  • This guide is intended to give you the tools you need to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Remember, after a disaster, emergency professionals are stretched thin. They may not be able to address your particular need quickly as they tend to those who are severely injured or trapped. By learning what to do, you can improve your chances of surviving the next disaster in your area. Whether you are in an area that is prone to hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, blizzards, tsunamis or wildfires, you can have a plan for these events.

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