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There is always a healthy balance between those who say some CPR is better than none and those who advocate if we are going to do CPR we should do it as well as possible – which means the right pressure, the correct positioning and accurate timing. We need to build people’s confidence in at least starting CPR because it will help save lives

At Life Care, we sit in the middle ground – in that we do not get so pedantic that we reduce confidence but we certainly teach, train and encourage best practice. If you’re going to do the job, you may as well do the best you can and that means having confidence and knowledge. However, CPR is just one of the actions that need to link together in a timely manner to give the victim the best chance of survival.

The first action is the early recognition. The sooner we respond to an emergency, the better the chances of survival; hence the advertisement on television with the man in the background having a silent heart attack while those at the front of the screen exaggerate the event. It’s not always obvious to see.

The second action is the early call to 111, and here’s hoping the victim is close to emergency services rather than out tramping in the Uraweras!

The third action point is the early commencement of CPR (and preferably) effective CPR). The sooner we can start CPR the less time the brain has no blood supply and therefore no oxygen supply – clearly this time should be as short as possible.

The fourth point is the early difibulation. The sooner we can correct the heart back into an effective rhythm, again, the better the chances of survival. Studies indicate the chances of survival drop 10% for every minute before the victim gets the first defibulator shock. This is the reason defibulators are now available in the community – at gyms, golf clubs, workplaces etc, as the earliest time to react is crucial.

A young referee recently made headlines as she performed CPR on a 14-year-old rugby player who had gone down during a tackle and stopped breathing. Her quick thinking and first aid knowledge undoubtedly helped save the young man’s life and paramedics worked on the boy for an hour before heading off to hospital. The young woman had taken her first aid course the week prior.

Is your team trained in CPR? Have you a defibulator in your workplace or surrounding area? If the answer to either of these questions is “No”, take a look at our nationwide first aid training courses and equipment here.

Give your team the confidence to take over in an emergency.

Janet Brothers

Managing Director