Michelle Rupp: Hello and welcome into this week’s edition of AFMC TV. We’re so glad you’re joining us. Would you know what to do if you were on any body of water and saw someone in distress? Do you know CPR do you know how to operate an AED. Well today we’re going to try to get some of the answers to those questions. Joining me now is Lori Arnold from the American Red Cross here in Little Rock. Lori, thank you for joining me today.

Lori Arnold: Thank you very much.

MR: Okay let’s start off. What are some of the basic first aid and CPR lifesaving skills we need to know?

LA: Well because emergencies can happen at any time, in any place, it’s important to follow three basic steps to action. First check, call and care. So, check the scene for safety and then check the person, call 911 or have somebody else call 911 and then care for the patient who is injured or wounded until help arrives. If we’re talking about CPR very specifically there are two components, there’s rescue breathing and chest compressions. However, if someone is untrained or uncomfortable with rescue breathing, they can do chest compressions only continuously until help arrives.

MR: Okay so what are some of the signs that we should look for to determine if somebody is needing, is in that emergency situation.

LA: So as a general rule if somebody is either injured, ill or unresponsive; if they are severely bleeding or have been severely burned; If they appear to have been poisoned or if they’re having difficulty breathing or chest pain or pressure, call 911 immediately.

MR: What if somebody can’t articulate that they are in distress.

LA: Then you definitely know that that is time to administer CPR and first aid.

MR: Okay. Now I know you’re not a certified CPR trainer, you are certified but you’re not a trainer.

LA: Right. So, are there just some things, I know compressions are different. You’ve already mentioned if you’re not comfortable with what in the old days they used to refer to as mouth to mouth. What are some, how do you stay calm in that situation?

LA: So it’s very important to remain calm again. Call 911. Make sure that you’ve got help on the way so that you don’t have that additional burden. But just take those breaths yourself. If you get tired while giving CPR with those chest compressions have someone, come in and fill in for you. Every single second counts. When you’re giving chest compressions, you’re pumping body pumping blood through the body and that’s keeping the vital organs including the brain alive. So keep those chest compressions going at all times. And if you get tired, have somebody jump in for you.

MR: What if you’re afraid I’m going to hurt them.

LA: So that’s a really great point. Luckily here in Arkansas, we do have what’s considered a, it’s commonly called a good Samaritan law which says that any person who is present at the scene of an accident or an emergency, who is not a health care professional or CPR certified, if they in good faith lend emergency aid to lessen or remove the immediate threat of life, they won’t be held liable for damages for assisting.

MR: What if they think? Gosh, I mean sure we all work out, wink, wink. But could I do it hard enough to make a difference.

LA: So this is why it’s really important to get certified or to get CPR trained. It’s very difficult to know if you’re doing it right without having ever been instructed or shown how to do it. However, we know that this happens and sometimes you haven’t been trained an emergency arises. So, we recommend that people actually download the Red Cross first aid app. It’s a free app and it does give step by step instructions on what to do and how to administer CPR if necessary.

MR: When I went through CPR training, one of the things that they told us were to do the compressions to the song, the old Bee Gees Song, Staying Alive. Is that still can that still work? Is that still if that’s what comes to your mind?

LA: It does still work. Yes, and I love that it’s staying alive too because it’s completely connected there. But you do want to give about 100 to 120 compressions a minute. And so a nice fast paced song like that helps. Just remember that when you are giving those compressions to let the chest fully rise before the second compression.

MR: Okay, how let’s talk about the AED, real quick. Difficult to stick on or is it pretty self-explanatory if you’re in that crisis situation and maybe you don’t know how to do an AED, but you know how to read and follow instructions?

LA: So of course, first I have to say it’s much better to get trained on the AED, because they are they’re an electronic device and they are very serious. But every AED will have step by step instructions in the packet when you open it. It will have fresh pads for pressing onto the chest. And it will give you step by step instructions and the AED itself will talk to you. It will tell you it will give you a countdown to stand by and things like that. Because we’re talking a lot about summer and water safety. It’s very important to that, if you are at a pool or anywhere that there’s water, be sure to completely clear any water and pooling of water around the patient before using an AED.

MR: You know it’s every summer we hear the horrendous story of someone at a pool that drowns and what a great way to help prevent for that to happen. Somebody in the crowd knowing CPR. How can they reach out to Red Cross, how can they sign up for classes?

LA: So, if you want to sign up for a red cross class, we recommend that everybody gets some sort of first aid CPR and AED training. You can go to redcross.org/takeaclass and there you can find locations; information and you can get registered. You can also call 1 800 Red Cross and choose the training prompt. The classes are both online. You can have an online class or an in-person class. However, it’s important to note that if you do need a valid training certificate for workplace certification, it does have to be an in-person instructor led class. However, if you’re wanting to learn CPR just for your own safety and for your own family’s safety, both methods are extremely effective.

MR: Lori, is there anything else you would like to add that we haven’t touched on?

LA: One other thing I’d like to add. We talked, you mentioned drowning a second ago and I think this is really important if you see someone drowning this summer at the pool, the beach, the ocean wherever you are, keep this phrase in mind reach or throw, don’t go. So, you don’t want to put yourself into danger. So, throw something out to the person to ask them to grab on, then you know, again, keeping yourself out of danger, try to remove them from the water and then if necessary, begin resuscitation.

MR: Very good, very good. And we, it is important to note, CPR isn’t just for accidents that may happen around uh, bodies of water. A toddler could choke on the skin of a grape, and you need to know how to, how to be able to handle that. So, all right, Laurie, that was great information. Thank you so much.

LA: Thank you.