Dr. Kose On Importance Of Learning CPR

(From Dr. Bill Kose with Blanchard Valley Health System)

With the start of summer, many of us are encountering more people at barbecues, outdoor festivals, and other activities. After the winter season when people tend to isolate more, it’s so enjoyable to see spring turn into summer and a more social time of year.

When we are around other people, there’s a higher likelihood that we might encounter some emergency. So, the start of summer is also an excellent time to discuss being prepared.

Learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid ensures you will be better equipped to handle a medical emergency, whether the person affected is a family member, friend, or stranger. Many people get CPR certified and never have to use their training – but if you do, you will be glad you have it.

With CPR training, laypeople can help save lives by caring for the person until an ambulance arrives. The more time that passes without such care, the worse the outcome will likely be.

The training will help you recognize when you need to intervene. It may also help you stay calm in an emergency because you will know what to do and how to recognize symptoms.

It’s also a good idea to learn to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). These are more prevalent than ever at schools, businesses, churches, and other places where people gather. If someone suffers a cardiac arrest, their likelihood of surviving increases when there’s an AED nearby and people who know how to use it.

People may hesitate when it comes time to act, afraid of doing the wrong thing. However, Good Samaritan laws protect individuals who are acting in good faith.

If it has been some time since you took a class, please refresh your knowledge. The curriculum changes over time, as data indicates what is most effective. For example, the standard CPR training now uses only compressions, without the breathing that was a part of the class before.

Today, more people in more situations routinely get trained, including not only employees working in certain jobs but even many high schoolers. However, we would encourage people who aren’t required to get this training for work to do so on their own. The more of us who are prepared, the higher the likelihood that someone on the scene can step in during any particular emergency.

People who live or regularly spend time out in the country may especially want to consider getting trained, simply because they are further from a hospital. If ordinary citizens in rural areas can care for one another until the EMTs can take the patient to a hospital, outcomes are likely to be better.

Residents of rural areas may also encounter different types of emergencies than those living in a city like Findlay, such as farming-related injuries.

In addition to CPR, getting trained in basic first aid can also be helpful. Learning the Heimlich maneuver to help someone who is choking just could come in handy at a restaurant.

Of course, depending on your situation, it may also help to get educated on outdoor hazards like poison ivy or on how to help someone having an allergic reaction or experiencing anaphylaxis.

Blanchard Valley Health System offers CPR classes to community members. We encourage everyone to take the class. After all, you never know when you might be at a picnic or on a plane and find this training is needed. You could save a life.

William H. Kose, MD, JD

Vice President of Special Projects,

Blanchard Valley Health System