We finished first aid training at work this morning. We focused on CPR first, then using an AED, or automated external defibrollator.
Try saying that five times fast.
We practiced CPR in pairs on these half-mannequins that Eric the instructor brought with him. Allison and I named our mannequin Patrick. On account of St. Patrick’s Day.
Patrick was great, a perfect victim. We’d check our scene, ensuring it was clear. We’d shake him and see if he’d respond. “Patrick! Are you okay? Can you hear me?” He’d let us call for help. “Help! Call 911, and bring an AED!” He’d let us pull his forehead back and his chin up so we could clear his airway. We got our faces close to his mouth, listening for breath, watching his blue plastic chest, checking if we could feel his breath on our cheeks, for 5 to 10 seconds. Hearing, seeing, and feeling nothing, we begin.
Placing a face shield over his nose and mouth, we’d breathe two breaths into him, watching his chest rise and fall. We began compressions, placing the heel of our dominant hand in the center of his chest, and pushing 1.5 to 2 inches.
Breathe again. Compressions again. Breathe again. Compressions again. Then the AED would arrive. Four steps:
- Turn it on.
- Attach pads. Let the AED analyze and determine if shocks are needed.
- Clear people away from the victim if a shock is needed.
- Press the shock button.
That’s how the test went, basically. I think we all did pretty well. The videos of different scenarios were helpful (small child in a campground discovered by hysterical older sister) to downright hilarious (dude with chest so hairy that one of the AED sensors can’t analyze him properly because it can’t touch skin). Some of us wondered if we could make it part of the dress code that men (and women) should make sure the right upper chest and left lower chest, right on the ribs below the heart, remain hair-free at all times.
Because you never know.