“You could save a life.”
The simple catchphrase for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has been ingrained in our heads since childhood. But how many of us actually know how to perform the procedure? In an emergency, could you save a life?
Canadian Red Cross Instructor Nick Rondinelli says answering that question is the goal behind November’s official designation as CPR Awareness Month
Rondinelli, who is also director of Heart To Heart First Aid CPR Services, says CPR accreditation often provides another equally important function.
“CPR training isn't just about saving people. It focuses on prevention, recovery and minimizing more problems,” he says.
Rondinelli was inspired to learn and teach CPR after witnessing a friend die from a lack of resuscitation.
He gained his certification in 1993 and opened Heart to Heart a decade later.
Recently it was expanded to facilitate greater in-house training and gained approval by Workers Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) as an independent certification locale for businesses.
He feels passionate about extolling the importance of proper training.
“There are a number of courses covering specific aspects,” he said.
Introductory CPR Level A includes five hours of training in life-threatening, adult-only situations such as choking and stroke.
The CPR Level C requires seven hours of training with infant, child and adult situations.
Emergency First Aid/CPR Level C entails eight hours of emergency training in bleeding, anaphylaxis and asthma.
A two-day Standard First Aid/CPR Level C course, which looks at head and spinal injury, and burns, offers greater coverage.
For newcomers, Rondinelli suggests the latter, as it addresses many potential crises. Courses are available at a number of authorized facilities with prices ranging from $55 to $100 per employee, depending on the course.
“Patrons receive a student manual, three-year certification and AED (Automatic External Defibrillation) training,” he notes, adding that the three-year cap ensures return students learn CPR advancements as introduced every five years.
Most workplaces are required to have a designated number of First Aid and CPR-trained staff on-hand.
Earlier this year, the American Heart Association updated its CPR guidelines, including a call for more chest compressions and less excessive ventilating.
“So many people have told me about friends, family or colleagues who had medical emergencies but since they didn't know how to recognize life-threatening symptoms or how to address them, it caused loss of life,” Rondinelli says.
“Every one was preventable with a few hours of basic CPR training.”