Some people are required to obtain their advanced first aid/ CPR certification in order to work. Others opt for it to better themselves and to have the ability to help someone in the event of an emergency. During one of these classes, a person will learn the following:
American Heart classes will teach you to use a defibrillator. An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a piece of equipment that may be used when a person goes into cardiac arrest. Currently, it's the only treatment known to restore a person's heart rhythm effectively when sudden cardiac arrest occurs. A defibrillator analyzes a person's heart rhythm and sends an electrical shock in order to reestablish a normal heart rhythm.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is performed on people who are not breathing. You begin by doing chest compressions, which are done by pushing done on a person's chest. You may hear cracking or popping when you begin, but you shouldn't let this deter you from continuing because this can make matters worse. Once you do compressions at a rate of around 100 compressions per minute, you will then need to switch and do the breathing rescue. As of December 2014, the current guidelines established by the American Heart Association is to do 30 compressions and then switch to the breathing. The breathing rescue is done by opening the victim's airway by doing the head-tilt, chin-lift method. You begin by pinching the person's nose and forming a seal over the victim's mouth using yours. It's best to use a CPR mask if one is near. You should then give the person a big breath. You'll want to give the person enough air so that the person's chest rises. If the first one is ineffective, you should try it again. Next, you should continue to alternate between 30 chest compressions and about two rescue breaths. If you saw the person collapse, you should use the automated external defibrillator immediately. If you did not see the person collapse, you should wait approximately one minute to put the AED on.
In addition to learning to use an AED and learning how to perform CPR and when to use these techniques, a person will learn basic first aid. Some prime examples include learning how to care for back injuries and neck injuries. You'll also learn how to do care on burns and cuts. Not to mention, you'll learn how to deal with head injuries including how to tell if there may be an brain damage from the incident by asking a person questions like "How many fingers am I holding up?"
Besides using an AED and how to give CPR, you'll also learn what to do when a person is choking by learning to do the Heimlich maneuver, which begins with you giving the person blows to the back in an effort to dislodge whatever is stuck in the person's airways. The following step is to wrap your arms around the person and push.
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