Quick: the love of your life (be it a significant other or family member) clutches their chest in agony.
They scream a terrifying scream that shakes you to your bones. They fall to the floor – it looks like they stopped breathing.
Maybe it’s a stranger you meet in the street.. They have only minutes to live. They may be soon gone from this life unless someone saves them.
You’re on your regular jogging circuit and suddenly you feel dizzy and lose balance. Sometimes a child is enjoying a summer swim when his leg cramps up and now, he is in danger. A fall from the jungle gym in the playground can be potentially dangerous.
These are times when we wish there was someone near and that they could help us.
Maybe a fellow runner who knows exactly how to help us, or a dive instructor or life guard who knows how to ease a cramp and calm the child, or a teacher or administrator who knows how to handle a deep wound and blood loss.
If you’ve ever been in some medical distress with no hospital in sight, this won’t even be a debate for you. If only, somehow, someone knew basic CPR.
You’d absolutely agree that first aid and CPR should be taught to every single person.
But as always, there are two sides to each story.
So it may not come as a surprise that there are people who are against the teaching of life-saving skills.
On paper, performing CPR is a piece of cake. Simply breathe into their mouth, and push the chest in for a five count to get the air into their lungs, and repeat. Seems simple, right? Who needs training for that?
With that said, here are several reasons why everyone needs to know basic CPR.
Here are a few reasons why:
Cons of Teaching First Aid and CPR to Everyone
If you don’t know how to perform CPR safely, here is a list of dangers:
- You could break the rib cage (especially in the elderly and children)
- You could puncture the lung and liver
- You could bruise the heart and liver
- You could force stomach contents up and cause vomiting
As well as spreading potential diseases – if not using a proper barrier mask.
- For school children, these classes can add to the existing burden of subjects, studies and extra- curricular activities. First aid classes are not a one-time thing and require a time commitment in the school year. These skills need to be updated, meaning more classes. How does a young student cope?
- The important issue here is at what age should a person start? Would you trust a child to make a decision that has the potential to be life or death? It’s not a comforting thought for the child or the person who needs help.
These are important questions but can be worked around.
CPR vs Mouth-to-Mouth Resuscitation
CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation are two different things.
Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation refers to people who are qualified to use this CPR technique.
People who have received no training should not attempt mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. (When your pipes burst, would you trust a man who doesn’t know how to fix your bathroom pipes?)
There is a technique called hands-only CPR for people who don’t have resuscitation skills or are simply uncomfortable with the procedure. Hands-only CPR can be just as an effective of a revival process in many cases.
Reasons to Teach First Aid and CPR to Everyone
- What if we could take ten minutes of play time each day or do a small piece during school assembly? A subject need not be dropped and the student learns too.
- While we do not expect students to take on life saver roles for others, think about this- would you rather have the help of a young person, or no help at all? It could be something as simple as calling 911 or holding bandages in place. Help is valuable in times of medical need
Here are some other reasons why first aid, including CPR should be taught to one and all.
Not everyone has access to medical professionals. How many people would we know who have gone through the complete ACLS pretest and then qualified for the exam? So knowing first aid and CPR helps take the pressure off professionals.
CPR Stops Death
First aid and CPR are the first line of defense and protection in so many cases. We know that a patient, who’s received either or both, has a higher chance of making it to the other side. Can there be a more compelling reason to make sure that everyone learns life-saving skills?
In the U.S. alone, over 300,000 people have cardiac arrest. (That is a terrifyingly high number.) What cardiac arrest means is the heart cannot pump blood to the rest of the body. When this happens, consciousness is lost and breathing stops.
When the body cannot get its circulation going, death is inevitable. CPR is 100% responsible for keeping a person’s blood circulating long enough until paramedics arrive.
Performing CPR does more for the victim than staring at them, sobbing, wishing there’s something someone can do.
Safety and Confidence
The American Heart Association made the wise decision to open CPR training in schools.
Because children who are taught how to save lives (at a younger age) will be much more valuable as adults. Imagine being friends (or lover) with someone who knows how to save your life. It’s akin to walking the streets at night with a friend who knows a martial art. You simply feel safer with this person.
Also, teaching first aid creates a sense of community among people. Once we realize that we can help one another to lead better lives, we may not turn away from an opportunity to come to the aid of someone.
The More People Who Know First Aid & CPR – The Better
Cardiac arrest can happen literally anywhere – there is no appointment, no schedule, rhyme or reason to these attacks.
They can happen at home, school, church, work, at the movies – anywhere and everywhere at any time.
This is scary stuff. And, what’s worse is… over 90% of people who have cardiac arrest (outside of hospitals) die. Considering how easy it is to find local CPR training classes, this statistic is inexcusable in today’s world.
More Attractive to Employers
The Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) makes CPR training mandatory for healthcare, industry, education and a variety of other fields. For complete details of their training course you can check Occupational Health and Safety Books.
Imagine how much more attractive you will be to potential employers when, at the interview and they look over your resume, they see “Certified CPR Specialist” as a skill – and even have CPR Certification to boot.
You are trained to save lives – do you think that makes you an asset, compared to someone who isn’t trained? (Yes, it does make you an asset.)
The only excuse for not having basic CPR training is laziness and a false idea that cardiac arrests will never happen to you (or someone you know). Knowing how to perform CPR on someone who’s blood stops pumping is literally the only way to save their life.
Don’t be responsible for someone’s death because you (or people you know) didn’t have the time or effort to learn basic CPR.