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Make Sure the Scene is Safe

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Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, a.k.a CPR, is an important, practical skill for everyone in your family. I teach Family and Friends CPR at Newton-Wellesley and Beverly hospital. It’s easy to learn.

You’ll have the opportunity to see, hear, and practice the movements with mannikins. Just as importantly, you”ll  learn how to focus and know what steps to take to get the ‘rescue wheels’ in motion.

I’ve put CPR training into practice four times. Three of those times I began the steps and, thankfully, each person revived quickly without needing compressions. The first time I used CPR was when a man coughed and choked right in front of me. I was teaching a class … at a hospital!

When he passed out, I recited the steps in my head and began.  First, I made sure the scene was safe. Then I tapped him and called, “Are you ok?” and continued. With only a few compressions, he revived quickly. We sent him to the ER and I gave the class a ten-minute break.

In that, and each of the other situations, I felt anxious though I knew what steps to take, rather than stand there dumbstruck. With CPR, you start the help. When EMTs arrive, they do the advanced rescue care if that is necessary.

Recently, Senator Rick Santorum suggested that everyone should learn CPR. That was in response to gun violence. I agree, CPR is important…. though let’s be clear. The first step is: Make sure the scene is safe. When you do not have the safety to check breathing and do compressions, call for help. We are insanely, painfully, too familiar with need for rescue from gun shootings. Restricting access to guns is a more practical way to make sure the scene is safe.

CPR is easy to learn. A class is about three hours long, and worth the time. I hope you will learn CPR skills and I hope you will never have to use them.

Register for classes at Newton Wellesley Hospital: 617-243-6221
Register for classes at Beverly Hospital: 978-927-9103