Archive for June, 2009

CPR For Your Pet

Sweet Puppy

Did you know you can perform CPR on your pet? It’s true! There are many accounts of pet owners and even rescue personnel who have used a modified version of traditional CPR to save the life of a dog, cat, or even a bird. Bubba the Chihuahua was saved by his owners who knew what to do and acted quickly after Bubba chewed through the cord of his electric blanket. See Bubba’s story by clicking here.

Knowing how to perform “mouth to snout” resuscitation and chest compressions can literally save your pet’s life.

CPR for Cats & Dogs

CPR for cats and dogs is similar to CPR for humans. These directions assume the animal is unconscious and the risk of being bitten by the animal is not present

1. Remove any obstruction. Open the animal’s mouth, pull his tongue out, and make sure the air passage is clear. If not, remove the object obstructing the air passage.

2. Extend the head and give several artificial respirations A. For large dogs: close the animal’s jaw tightly and breathe into the nose. Give two breaths. The animal’s chest should rise. B. For small dogs and cats you may be able to cover the entire snout with your mouth as you breathe. Give two breaths. The animal’s chest should rise.

3. Perform chest compression. Lay the animal on its right side and compress the side of the rib cage. The rate of chest compressions varies with the size of the animal

• Dogs over 60 lbs: 60 compressions per minute • Animals 11 to 60 lbs: 80-100 compressions per minute • Animals 10 lbs or less: 120 compressions per minute The ratio of compressions to breaths should be approximately the same as for humans – 30:2. Continue doing this until the animal responds or begins to breathe on its own.


Responders in Action

As Emergency First Response Providers and Instructors we all recognize our training is useful but we’re never sure how helpful until we are called upon to use it. A recent Responder in Action at PADI Asia Pacific let us know he was thankful and relieved he had the knowledge, skills, and training to assist someone in need.

Jan found his stepfather face down in a lake in Spain and used his training to recover him from the water and start CPR. Jan says, “I forget how many cycles of CPR/Mouth-to-mouth I needed to get the first signs of response, probably three or four. I was concerned whilst giving CPR of the sound of cracking, and thought I had broken/cracked his ribs. I then turned the subject onto his left side to aid in water egress from his mouth, as he recovered consciousness.” 

“Absolutely nothing was found to be wrong with him, other than the scratches sustained in removing him from the water, up the rocks, and onto the road, which although appeared bad, were trivial.  He has made a full recovery.”

“Looking critically at my actions, I don’t remember checking for a pulse, however, the purple/blue color of the subject’s face was enough to spur me into my training immediately.

“I am SO relieved at having completed the course as I was able to put it to use…All thanks to my Instructor Simon Hoekstra, my stepfather is alive, and as well as anybody of his age and health can expect to be.”

As an Emergency First Responder we do have the knowledge and skills to be able to help and I hope Jan’s story helps reminds us all that we are capable of responding when required, in the right way, to the best of our ability.

Offering Refresher Training in a Tough Economy

It is always prudent to provide exceptional customer service to your clients, but it is especially so in a poor economy.  Those running successful CPR training businesses know that servicing the customer does not end at the conclusion of the course.  It involves keeping in touch with them on a regular bases and notifying them when retraining is necessary to keep their credentials current. Keep in mind, many businesses are required to retrain every two years.

You may find it effective to send out a reminder letter or postcard 21 months following the course. This allows time for the client to schedule a refresher course before it is recommended that they retrain.  Because the refresher course involves less time, businesses will appreciate your ability to reduce the time their employees are away from their jobs.

The Emergency First Response Pro site offers some great marketing tools you can use to promote your refresher courses, including a sample letter and postcard.  To access these items, EFR instructors can log into the Emergency First Response / PADI Pro site and visit the Sales and Marketing section to find the 2009 Marketing Tool Kit.

Earthquake Preparedness and You

Most people think earthquakes only happen in certain parts of the world. However, do not be mistaken; earthquakes can strike anywhere in the world. In the US, there are 45 states and territories at mild to moderate risk for earthquakes including the New Madrid fault line in the central United States.

While we can’t control when and where earthquakes happen, we can become educated and be prepared. The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management has created an informative and fun “quake quiz” to see if you know what to do in the event of an earthquake. Visit quiz your earthquake knowledge!

Earthquake preparedness should include the following:

Get an Emergency Supply Kit
Include items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries, copies of prescription medications and medical supplies, sleeping provisions, bottled water, a first aid kit, and copies of important documents.

Make a Plan
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together, and what you will do in case of an emergency. Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood. Be sure to notify caregivers about your plan and make plans for your pets.

Be Informed
Prepare your home by fastening shelves securely to walls. Hang heavy items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds, couches, and anywhere people sit. Identify safe places indoors and outdoors like under sturdy furniture or against an inside wall away from where glass could shatter around windows, mirrors, pictures or where heavy bookcases or other heavy furniture could fall over.

Reduce the risk of fire and structural damage by repairing defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. Store your weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products securely in cabinets with latches. Secure your water heater by strapping it to the wall studs and bolting it to the floor. Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations and get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects.

Finally, make sure you complete CPR, first aid, and AED course so you are ready to act when necessary.

Reminder- Any Help Is Better Than No Help


The Emergency First Response philosophy has always been that any help in an emergency is better than no help. Last year the American Heart Association announced chest compression-only CPR. They stated that if a rescuer hasn’t been trained in CPR or doesn’t feel safe or confident in giving rescue breaths, then providing compression-only CPR is acceptable.

If a layperson rescuer isn’t comfortable providing mouth-to-mouth for any reason, studies show the patient may benefit from compressions only. For this reason, existing EFR materials already include information on chest compression-only CPR.

In the EFR Primary Care course, students continue to learn rescue breaths and compressions as usual because this care is always preferable. You will also notice the use of chest compression-only CPR and circumstances in which someone might choose to use it – for example if no barriers are available, if the situation makes giving breaths impossible, or if a lay responder otherwise feels anxious about giving rescue breaths.

Swimming Pools- Facts and Safety


The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns that unless parents and adults do a better job of watching children around pools, over 300 children in the United States, under the age of five years will drown in pools this year.

Drowning in residential pools is the second leading cause of accidental death around the home to children under five years of age. CPSC also reported that 4200 children under the age five are treated each year in hospital emergency rooms for submersion and near-drowning accidents in backyard pools.

CPSC urges pool owners to adopt the following safety practices:

  • Constantly keep your eyes on young children while at the pool;
  • Never leave young children alone in or around the pool;
  • If you leave, even for a few seconds, take the children with you.
  • Avoid confusion by always assigning one adult to watch young children who are in and around the pool.
  • Know how to administer CPR to a drowning victim before rescue help arrives.

AED Bill Passes the House of Representatives

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Josh Miller Act, or H.R.1380 to allow schools access to life-saving automated external defibrillators (AED). This legislation will establish a federal grant program to enable elementary and secondary schools across the nation access AEDs. The Act also specifies that schools receiving these grants must certify that five adults at the school have been trained in CPR and AED use.

It will be presented to the U.S. Senate later this month.

The Josh Miller Act is named in memory of a 15-year-old student from Barberton, Ohio. Miller died after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest at a high school football game. By the time the paramedics arrived, it was too late. Miller had no history heart problems. It is estimated that for every minute of delay between cardiac arrest and defibrillation reduces the chance of survival by as much as 10%.