Tuesday, March 17, 2015

CPR: A Skill I Never Want to Use

I became certified in CPR and first aid last week. When I walked into the class, the instructor asked, "Why do you want this certification?"

I'm glad you asked, sir. First, I think it's essential to have some knowledge of CPR. You never know when you might need to help someone. Also, I am certified to teach yoga, and I wanted the skill in case anything ever happened in class. Lastly, I have a baby niece and another on the way. I wanted to know infant CPR especially for any time I am near children and when I have my own.

Most of the class attendees had jobs in the health-care field, and this was not their first rodeo. I, on the other hand, had no knowledge of basic CPR and first aid. Most of the statistics the instructor discussed were new to me. For instance, for every minute that a person goes without CPR and defibrillation, the survival rate decreases by 10 percent. He also said that 85 percent of the time, chest compressions that people do are too shallow. He emphasized not being too afraid when performing CPR. We practiced how to use an AED, which seems pretty easy, and how to perform abdominal thrusts for choking. The most nerve-racking part of class for me, though, was infant CPR. Being involved in a situation in which an infant is in distress would likely be chaotic and emotional. I hope to never have to use these skills, but I'm glad I have more knowledge of them.

For CPR classes in your area, check out the American Heart Association website or your local parks and recreation page. I found my class through the city of Phoenix and it was run by a local firefighters union chapter. The money benefited local charities.