CPR Tid-Bits.

This morning I was in class for CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training.   As a (future) health care practitioner, I have to make sure my CPR training is up-to-date (by renewing it every one-to-two years). Hence the need for this morning's class!
Image source here.

Here are a few interesting tid-bits from the class:

- Most people are afraid to administer CPR to someone who needs it, because they are afraid that they may 'hurt' the person. CPR is given when the heart stops pumping, and when the heart stops pumping, a person is clinically dead. As the instructor put it today, how much could you possibly hurt to a person who is clinically dead
- With the above said, you are likely to break some ribs when performing CPR, but again, a couple of broken (and very heal-able) ribs is nothing compared to death!
- If you administer CPR (in Canada) and you perform it in good faith, you are protected by the Good Samaritan Act.
- Someone who needs CPR (i.e. his or her heart has stopped) is considered clinically dead, but is still biologically alive because the brain is still alive (and it can stay alive for up to ten minutes after the heart has stopped).
- In old CPR courses, instructors had to teach students about payphone locations in order to make the 911 call! Nowadays, cell phones are everywhere (if you don't have a phone, chances are that the person you are helping has one in their purse or pocket).
- An important note about cell phones: even if they are 'locked' or need a password to use, they all have a 911-overide option, meaning that you can still dial 911 on a locked/protected cell phone.
- The goal of CPR is to mimic the heart.  The chest compressions preformed mimic the beating of the heart, moving blood around the body (especially to the brain!).

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