Yesterday was Thanksgiving in the United States. By far my favorite holiday. At my house, this involves the entire extended family gathering at my mother’s house to celebrate. I am thankful that I did not have to work this year and was able to attend. My mother asked that I teach the family hands only CPR after the Thanksgiving dinner. I was happy to do this, but honestly I have only taught a class once. Usually our excellent cardiac arrest interns do the teaching and they were off celebrating with there families.I enlisted my nephew, Sam, as my honorary intern and he helped inflate the mannequins.
After finally getting the technology working with my father’s projector, we were off and teaching. (Always a joyous experience working out technology issues with your dad.)
As usual, cardiac arrest is a bit of a serious discussion and the family listened intently with many good questions. “Can you get sued if the person dies and you tried to save them with CPR?” No, there are Good Samaritan laws designed to protect bystanders and encourage there help in emergency situations. “Should you perform CPR on a hard surface?” Yes, if the victim is on a couch or in a bed they need to be moved to the floor first as compressions on a soft surface are not effective.
Here, we taught our friend the Wicke’s, who are here from Germany visiting. This is our first international person that the foundation has taught hands only CPR.
As happens in every class, the students start off wary and hesitant. After people put there hands on the mannequins and remember the simple instructions of 1. check for a response 2. Call 911 (get the experts on the way) 3. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest at 2 compressions a second and don’t stop till help arrives, a light goes off. “I can do this. It’s not that hard.” The classes are a very empowering experience for the people that take them.
Why is it important to teach hands only CPR to friends and family? 80% of cardiac arrests happen in a private residence. The chances are the person you perform CPR on is going to be someone that you know or love. I hope my family never has to perform CPR on someone, but if they do, I feel confident that they will act and do a wonderful job.
If you want us to come and teach your friends and family please sign up through the website. We will come and teach at your house if you have agreed of 15 or more people. Another option is to attend our monthly CPR class that is held on the second Thursday of each month at 5:00 pm at the offices of Louisville Cardiology.
Lastly, I am thankful to be with my friends and family yesterday. I am extremely thankful to my wife who has shouldered a major load with running this foundation. I am thankful for our wonderful cardiac arrest interns who have full time jobs and still some how teach hands only CPR. They are tremendous instructors and even better people. Lastly, I am thankful to all of the people who have made this foundation a success.