Monday, December 13, 2010
St. Bernard students taught CPR
St. Bernard Health Instructor, Ruth Anne Knight, annually teaches all students in her health classes the fundamentals of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in a course study through the American Heart Association.
CPR is a combination of rescue breathing and chest compressions. If someone isn't breathing or circulating blood adequately, CPR can restore circulation of oxygen-rich blood to the brain. Without oxygen, permanent brain damage or death can occur in less than 8 minutes.
The AHA's basic life support course covers adult, child, and infant CPR and choking. Students practice the techniques on mannequins and can ask questions and get individualized instruction. The final test for the course is a combination of demonstrating CPR skills and taking a written test.
Students learn CPR on adults, children and babies. Knight said the course is designed so students learn the issues involved with knowing when it is safe to approach someone who needs help and how to quickly evaluate whether the person is responsive.
“We teach the ABC’s of CPR,” Knight commented. “Students check the airways, breathing and circulation, and make a determination about what procedure to apply next.”
Knight along with Mrs. Carolyn Peinhardt Johnson, both of whom are basic life support instructors with the American Heart Association, evaluate students on proper techniques during the exams.
Because CPR is a skill that must be practiced, it's wise to repeat the course at least every 2 years to maintain skills. Doing so also allows the opportunity to learn about any new advances or discoveries in CPR techniques.
“We never know when we can help someone who is choking or in need of assistance. Providing this service to our students is something they will remember the rest of their lives,” Knight said. “Soon we will be adding Hands-only CPR to our curriculum. This technique is simpler and easier to remember and removes a big barrier for people skittish about the mouth-to-mouth breathing.”