Foster Care 202: CPR Training – Smartphone Required

CPR Has Changed with the Times, Have you?Are you bleeding? There’s probably an app to help with that! Or a website… and a book. And even if your cell phone has been disconnected, as long as the battery still works then calling 911 still works.

Let me just tell you… CPR training today is not the same model that I had 15 years ago. According to our instructor, if it has been a long time since you attended (3 or more years), then a lot has changed. 15 years ago I attended a day long course of book chapters, lectures, and practicing putting a splint on someone. My class 15 years ago also included practicing the Heimlich maneuver, and also practicing CPR/ mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. And 15 years ago we were given a CPR handbook to take home with us.

The class my wife and I attended last week was nothing like that. We learned everything we needed to learn for a basic emergency (which is different from a complicated emergency). But our class was only three hours long. It was like being in a totally different world.

Our instructor said that their studies on CPR training showed that 60 days after the training, people had forgotten nearly everything they had been taught. So instead we spent three hours having a few keep points branded onto our brains. The A, B,C’s of saving someone’s life.

A – Are they breathing. If not, help them breathe.

B – Are they bleeding? If yes, plug the hole.

C – Are they conscious? If not, make sure they are laying in a position that allows them to breathe easily.

If you think it is necessary to call 911, then call 911. If it seems bad but you aren’t sure if you should call 911, call 911.

In the past people were getting hung up on field stitches, bandages, or some other way to stop the bleeding because they remembered bits and pieces of their CPR training from 1 year ago.

Alien CPR Baby, http://www.ishism.comIn addition, I did learn something interesting about CPR on babies. He said people were doing the chest compressions wrong for babies. Most people were doing it too soft for a couple reasons:

  • First reason they were doing it wrong, because they were not pushing deep enough on the baby’s chest. What he demonstrated was about a 2-inch push down, and most people learned to do 1/2 inch or less.
  • Second, many people had been told to hold the baby in one arm while doing the chest compressions. But what happens is that when a person pushes down on the baby, the arm they are holding the baby with also gets pushed down. Thus, this creates very little or NO chest compression for the baby. Learning this was really awkward for me because I remember being trained to do CPR on babies the way he told us was now wrong. Blah! So one of the few things I remembered about CPR from 15 years ago was wrong anyway.

Something else that I thought was interesting was that he talked about wilderness survival. He said there are a lot of people who go hiking, camping, fishing… and they have NO first aid training. So if they break their leg or some other injury, they have little or no ability to survive. He said there are wilderness survival workshops that teach first aid for those situations, but most hikers/campers/etc have not taken them. Most people forget that 9-1-1 only works if you have cell phone service (which the best outdoors places in my opinion still do not). Our instructor suggested anyone who does wilderness survival should have with them a small first aid book which will help them deal with any issues they may encounter.

So, this was my second time having a CPR class… but the first time in 15 years.

When was the last time you had CPR training? Do you think you are up to date about what to do in a crisis?

*This is a summary of my experience about what I learned at CPR classes and should not be substituted for actual CPR certification and/or medical training*

4 thoughts on “Foster Care 202: CPR Training – Smartphone Required

  1. Last time I had CPR training was in high school. Which was a looooong time ago. Training is something you forget about doing until the moment you need it and obviously it’s too late.

    1. Yeah. Our instructor said the problem with previous CPR classes is that they crammed a lot of information into people’s heads, but unless you are a nurse/doctor practicing every day, you won’t remember much past 60 days.

      If you don’t use it, you lose it.

  2. That’s a little disconcerting when research shows that it’s a waste of time to get the info you’ll really need in an emergency. I believe the research (I’m naive, overly-trusting … or a researcher), but it feels wrong.

    1. I agree. I don’t think they meant it as a waste of time. I just think they meant that, we will only remember a few key points after 60 days because if we aren’t using that every day… then we’re going to forget. So then, should they spend time making sure we can tie the correct knots to do a splint perfectly,.. or should they spend their time making sure we can do CPR and the heimlich. If we only will remember a few things after 60 days, they want us to make sure we remember the heimlich… and not waste time training us on splint knots or measuring inches for a chest compression.

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