Archive for May, 2009

National CPR and AED Awareness Week


In December 2007, the United States Congress passed a bill designating the first week of June “National Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Awareness Week”.

June 1-7 marks the second National CPR and AED Awareness Week. The passing of this resolution shines a national spotlight on how important it is for everyone to learn critical lifesaving skills such as how to perform CPR, how to use an AED and the need to increase public access to AEDs.

Emergency First Response (EFR) encourages community residents to sign up for CPR and AED classes during this week and learn the skills to save a life.

In the United States, over 300,000 become victims of sudden cardiac arrest each year. Only one out of twenty will survive if CPR is not administered by a trained bystander. Scientific studies also show that for every minute defibrillation is delayed; there is an approximate 10 percent decrease in the likelihood of resuscitation. By performing CPR and the use of an AED, survival rates increase by four to five times.

For additional information on how you can participate in the National CPR and AED Awareness Week, contact your local EFR Instructor through the EFR course finder link:

New Study on Chest Compressions


A recent study reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association found overall survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest increased from 7.5 percent to 13.9 percent after the Kansas City EMS department changed its resuscitation practices to emphasize a priority of chest compression with minimal interruptions.   

The change in protocol involved rescuers performing 50 chest compressions before pausing to provide two breaths (current guidelines call for 30 compressions followed by two breaths). Other changes included the rescuers delaying intubating the patient and administering medications.

Researchers also found:

  • The success of resuscitation in restoring a heartbeat and getting the patient to the hospital alive improved from 37.8 percent to 59.6 percent when the cardiac arrest was witnessed by bystanders.
  • Survival to hospital discharge also rose from 22.4 percent to 43.9 percent in this same group.

“It’s a back-to-basics message. Even with professional rescuers, starting IVs and delivering medications can take a back seat to good quality chest compressions” said Alex G. Garza, M.D., M.P.H., lead author of the study and associate professor of emergency medicine at the Washington Hospital Center and Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

EFR Course in Seoul, Korea

Recently, fourteen Kwanwoo Habkido martial art students participated in their first Emergency First Response Primary and Secondary Care and Care for Children course in Seoul, Korea. The course was conducted by Sonmi Miles and Jongdal Kim.

The participants were aged between 11-17 years old and all of them have (for the first time ever!) learned to respond to people in need of help and care in an emergency situation; not only handling an AED unit but also providing infant CPR and choking management. The students had lots of fun and were very proud of their achievement.

Kwanwoo Habkido martial art training center offers regular EFR courses since 2008. Their mission is, “Building Confidence to Care”. This course also helps in creating a great team work environment, says Sonmi Miles, the EFR Instructor Trainer.

Good Samaritan Law in Place in Korea

Until recently, many people are hesitant to help others in Korea, even with CPR & First Aid training because of the fear of being sued. In absence of a statutory “Good Samaritan” duty of care, people didn’t want to get involved. The new Good Samaritan law will prevent this and encourage more people to offer assistance – without fear of retribution.

The new Good Samaritan law states that when assisting in an emergency situation, as long as you only do as much as a good and prudent person with your level of training would do in the same situation and you do not expect compensation for rendering aid, then you are not legally held responsible for any injury or death that may occur. This changed act in Korea will help our Emergency First Responders offer more help in case of an emergency situation.

A Letter From a Father

Shortly after my son was born, he was diagnosed with Acid Reflux. About two weeks after he came home from the hospital he started to get worse and at times he would be left gasping for air. On one occasion, he stopped breathing for about 15 seconds. I acted quickly and performed mouth to mouth and CPR and I was able to bring him back.  The doctors in the hospital said that I saved his life. Little did I know that the CPR I learned 20 years ago through PADI would save my son’s life!  In all my years as a Scuba Diving Instructor, I never had the necessity to perform CPR. What irony that the first time I did, I ended saving my own son’s life.  I’d like to express my sincere thanks to PADI for offering courses that are indispensable in helping others. Now I’m able to enjoy my son, who will be 2 months on May 21st!  

Abdul qader M. Ahmed – PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer

James Yaeger – Responder in Action

James Yaeger was at the local hardware store when he heard a store clerk call for help in the next aisle. He responded to the distress calls and saw the clerk standing over an unresponsive male, lying on the ground. Yaeger immediately directed another store clerk to call emergency services and then began the primary assessment. He rolled the patient onto his back, opened his airway, and listened for breathing.  He noted the patient was unresponsive and blue in the face. 

Taking charge, Yaeger began giving the patient rescue breaths and started administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation. He continued until finally the patient responded with slow, unsteady inhalations and flickering eyes. Yaeger let the patient know that help was on the way and encouraged him to remain calm until police and paramedics arrived.

Calling the hospital later, Yaeger was happy to hear the news that the patient was doing well and on the way to recovery. He credited his EFR training and years of diving for helping him remain calm, enabling him to act in an emergency situation.

CPR Saves Divers Life

Jacqueline De Haven, a deckhand on a Tacoma, Washington, USA charter dive boat was on the water last October watching divers from the surface. Along with the captain, she noticed another dive charter boat unload divers. Shortly after, they watched as two divers descended and then quickly surfaced. One diver made it to the swim step and then they noticed the captain waving frantically and calling out that he needed CPR.

Motoring over, De Haven rode outside the bow railings and jumped over to the boat in need of aid. She worked with the captain and deckhand of the other vessel to get the injured diver on board and started cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

De Haven and the other deckhand performed two-person CPR for 25 minutes while waiting for the fire department rescue boat to arrive after which emergency services took over. She was gratified to hear from the injured diver several days later when he called to say thanks and tell her that his prognosis is excellent.

De Haven shares, “I was amazed how during the rescue I was calm and I remember feeling almost ‘automatic’. I realize that CPR scenarios do not always end positively, but I truly credit my years of EFR training with contributing to the recovery of this diver.”

“Stayin’ Alive”

Current CPR guidelines emphasis the need for effective chest compressions as a critical component of CPR.  Dr. Gordon Ewy, (Director of the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center and prominent CPR researcher) identified a clever way to help rescuers remember how fast chest compression should occur during CPR. He pointed out that the 1977 hit song  “Stayin’ Alive,” from the Bee Gee’s has a 100 beats-a-minute tempo, the same rate recommended for chest compression during CPR. Many are now incorporating this tip into their CPR training programs as way to help students remember and maintain the proper rate of compression if ever called upon to perform CPR. After all, “Stayin’ Alive” is what CPR is all about.