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Save a life in 2017

Improve your Life Saving Skils in 2017

Hollywood, MD - Are you prepared to respond in an emergency? Emergencies are called emergencies for a reason, but you don’t have to be caught off guard if a situation arises that requires medical attention. On Thursday, Dec. 22, Karen Stewart went into cardiac arrest at the Giant Food Store located on Alabama Avenue in SE Washington, D.C. It happened near the meat section where Stewart has worked for the past eight years. A coworker’s knowledge of CPR, saved Stewart’s life. Sandy Maynor, her coworker, immediately knew what to do and performed CPR on her.

"It's important for everyone to learn, you never know when that moment will arise," said Maynor. Maynor performed CPR for 10 minutes until paramedics arrived and shocked Stewart three times with a defibrillator until she had a normal heart rhythm.

There are various certifications and training seminars that can help an individual and their family be best prepared for the unpredictable. Make it a goal in the new year to become better prepared to meet the unpredictable situations of life.

If everyone in the community, becomes more proactive in 2017 to meet life’s emergencies, imagine how many people will be saved in the new year. Below is a list of lifesaving ways to be best prepared when a crisis hits.

1. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation - CPR
Heart attacks and cardiac arrest are becoming more common in our society and can strike a person anywhere, any age or physical condition. The most recognized lifesaving maneuver is cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), a technique utilized in various emergencies including heart attack, cardiac arrest, and drowning. According to the American Heart Association, only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims receive CPR from a bystander. Statistically speaking, since 4 out of 5 cardiac arrests occur at home, CPR could potentially save the life of a family member or friend.

If a CPR-related emergency occurs and the victim is unconscious, have someone immediately call 911 while you perform CPR. If you or other bystanders are untrained in proper CPR delivery, the American Heart Association recommends giving the victim continuous hands-only chest compressions, totaling around 100 compressions a minute until the paramedics arrive or there are signs of movement. In adult victims, hands-only chest compressions should be hard enough to move the chest inward about 1.5 to 2 inches.

While performing hands-only or trained CPR, remember the acronym, CAB –compression, airway, and breathing. Prepare for a CPR emergency by watching a professional instructional video or enrolling in a CPR training course.

2. Heimlich maneuver
Do you know the signs of someone choking? Like any other emergency, understanding the signs of choking is vital for a higher survival rate. Without oxygen, a choking victim is susceptible to brain damage in 4 to 6 minutes.

Some medical emergencies are the fault of a poor genetic disposition or unhealthy lifestyle, but choking is the result of an obstructed windpipe blocked by food or other objects. If a person begins choking, but can still talk, do not perform the Heimlich maneuver because intense coughing may be enough to dislodge the object from the throat.

heimlichHowever, if the choking victim is conscious but cannot talk, first have someone call 911 and then begin abdominal thrusts. If you are a bystander with less training, perform back blows.

If efforts to perform the Heimlich maneuver are ineffective and the victim becomes unconscious, begin CPR until medical professionals arrive.

3. Safely escaping a fire from a burning building
There has been an increase in fire reports in the past month. It is important to remember the safety rules concerning a fire emergency. Beginning in preschool, children are taught how to protect themselves from fires and earthquakes and it’s no wonder why. Although industrial and public buildings should have adequate sprinkler systems and fire alarms, unpredictable fires can occur at any time.

To protect yourself from a fire, you must first understand what ignites and feeds the fire. Fires and people compete for oxygen to sustain life, but the lack of oxygen in humans causes loss of coordination, stamina, or death.

In 2017, develop a proactive plan of escape in case of an emergency. Make sure everyone is aware of the primary route of exit in case of a fire. Be prepared, it is important to prepare both a primary and alternative route for exiting a burning building. The noxious cloud of gasses caused by a fire will rise to the ceiling of a building, so it is important to crawl to the safest exit with a wet cloth wrapped around your nose and mouth.

If exiting through a window, smash the bottom corner of the window pane with a hard object and if possible, cushion the broken window with a blanket or pillow for a safe exit. If you are exiting through a closed door, use the back of your hand to feel the door, the knob and door hinges. If these areas of the door are cool to the touch, brace your shoulder against the door and slowly open the door.

Let’s all have a safer 2017 by taking steps to be prepared to meet the emergencies of life. Happy new year and be safe out there.

Contact Shertina Mack at s.mack@TheBayNet.com

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