More than 30 people had the opportunity to learn essential CPR and first aid skills at the special free training event “Gabrielle Giffords Honorary Save a Life Saturday” held on Saturday, March 19 at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. at the Douglas High School gym.
Fred Milke, instructor and trainer for the American Red Cross and Dan Frey, Giffords representative said “These free events were inspired by what happened to Rep. Giffords in January; after Giffords was shot, one of her team members applied essential CPR to Giffords and that’s what saved her life that day. Since then we got conscious that more people need to learn these types of skills in order to save more lives.”
The CPR and first aid skills training event was held on the same day at state level in an effort to make communities safer places by learning what to do when an emergency happens around any place.
At the event, people from Douglas, including several Girl Scouts members learned about the Hands-Only CPR for witnessed sudden collapse skill which consists in a basic three step procedure.
1. • Check and call
a. Check the scene, and then check the person.
b. Tap on the shoulder and shout, “Are you okay?” and quickly look for breathing.
c. Call 9-1-1 if no response.
d. If unresponsive and not breathing, begin chest compressions.
2. Give chest compressions
a. Place the heel of one hand on the center of the chest.
b. Place the heel of the other hand on top of the first hand, lacing your fingers together.
c. Keep your arms straight; position your shoulders directly over your hands.
d. Push hard, push fast
i. Compress the chest at least 2 inches.
ii. Compress at least 100 times per minute.
iii. Let the chest rise completely before pushing down again.
e. Continue chest compressions.
3. Do not stop
a. Except in one of these situations:
i. You see an obvious sign of life (breathing)
ii. Another trained responder arrives and takes over.
iii. EMS personnel arrive and take over.
iv. You are too exhausted to continue.
v. An AED is ready to use.
vi. The scene becomes unsafe.
Also, people at the training were able to learn how to control external bleeding by using a four step procedure:
a. Cover the wound with a sterile dressing.
b. Apply direct pressure until bleeding stops.
c. Cover the dressing with a bandage but check for circulation beyond the injury (check for feeling, warmth and color). And,
d. Apply more pressure and call 9-1-1
a. If the bleeding does not stop:
i. Apply more dressings and bandages.
ii. Continue to apply additional pressure.
iii. Take steps to minimize shock
iv. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number if not already done.
Finally, people learned to care for shock if severe bleeding is out of control. Milke said if people find themselves in this situation with a family member, a friend or someone else they need to look for restlessness of irritability; altered level of consciousness; nausea or vomiting; pale, ashen or grayish, cool, moist skin; rapid breathing and pulse or excessive thirst they need to follow the next steps:
a. Have the person lie down.
b. Keep the person from getting chilled.
a. If the person is cool, cover him or her with a blanket or clothing if the person is inside a building to avoid chilling; if the person is outdoor and the weather is warm may be not necessary to cover him or her.
c. Do not give anything to eat or drink.
d. Reassure the person.
e. Monitor breathing and for any changes in condition. And,
f. Care for the conditions you find.
At the end of the event people were pleased with the training and they expressed their gratitude to the trainer and Giffords representative.