Piggott Teachers Get CPR/AED Refresher

Thursday, August 22, 2013
Teachers with the Piggott School District take part in CPR/AED training last week at Piggott Community Hospital. The course was instructed by Laura Hollis, R.N. (center).

The Piggott School District is a safer place this week, thanks to the efforts of local health care professionals and concerned educators. Recently, at the request of a number of teachers, the Piggott School District arranged for CPR training and refresher courses through Piggott Community Hospital. In the days prior to the start of classes for students a number of the educators took advantage of the course, which is based on the new recommendations first outlined in October 2010.

Wednesday, Aug. 7, a group of five of the local teachers took the course at PCH with Laura Hollis, R.N. serving as the instructor.

Hollis first reviewed the new guidelines, which now call for 100 compressions of the chest per minute as opposed to the former goal of 60. The American Heart Association is also placing more emphasis on the depth of the compressions, and have made a number of other changes to the response criteria for CPR.

"Clearing the airway and checking for breathing is now secondary," Hollis explained."Beginning compressions as soon as possible, and maintaining the proper depth and pressure, are now considered to be much more important in early response."

Hollis noted most people had learned the A-B-C method of priority, for airway, breathing and compression. "Now we teach the C-A-B method, for compression, airway and then breathing," she explained. "Now we teach the first step is doing chest compressions, instead of first establishing the airway and doing mouth-to-mouth. These guidelines apply to adults, children and infants but not to newborns."

The American Heart Association notes chest compressions alone can often save a life, and any delay in starting compressions robs the victim of much needed oxygen to the brain. Experts also contend the new guidelines may inspire more people to perform CPR, as mouth-to-mouth can be difficult for the un-trained while anyone can do chest compressions, whether they've taken a life saving class or not.

Compressions should also be at least two inches deep for adults and children and about an inch-and-a-half for infants. The 100-times-per-minute is also a new standard, and experts say it's even okay to go a little faster. One guideline from the American Red Cross noted 100 strokes per minute was about the same rhythm as the beat of the Bee Gee's song "Stayin' Alive."

The new guidelines call for 30 compressions, followed by two breaths, and followed by 30 more compressions until help arrives. For small children the rule of thumb is 15 compressions, followed by two breaths, with the process repeated until help arrives.

Along with the class on CPR, the educators were also certified on the use of AED's (automated external defibrillators) which are now found in all schools, gyms and other public buildings.

Educators taking part in last week's class included Nikki Speer, Melissa Hopkins-Turner, Marissa Howell, Paul Seegraves and Casey Simpson.

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