The Beacon of H.O.P.E.'s Survivor Summer Camp held a class offering campers a lesson in performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation. This training is generally made available to professional firefighters, nurses and police officers. About 25 campers attended the class.
Debbie Ianucci, a certified instructor in CPR, asked the students, "Why would someone need CPR?"
The answers from the group included heart attack, stroke, choking, drowning, seizure, drug or alcohol overdose.
Survivor Summer Campers learn CPR.
Ianucci then went on to outline the symptoms of a heart attack: "Symptoms can include shooting pain, mid-chest pain, nausea, jaw pain, extreme weakness and/or extreme sweating."
She then asked, "What is a stroke?"
A stroke is when the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted depriving the brain of oxygen. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die and prompt treatment is needed. It is sometimes called a "brain attack." If the cut-off is brief, brain cells may be stressed but able to recover. But if cells are deprived for more than 3 or 4 minutes, they may die, resulting in permanent damage to the brain.
"Other reasons people can stop breathing are choking, drowning, seizure, drug or alcohol overdose," Ianucci said. "Learning how to perform CPR saves lives. Remember that "C" stands for cardio, or heart. "P" stands for pulmonary or lungs. And "R" stands for resuscitation."
In 2010, the American Heart Association established these new guidelines for performing CPR using the acronym C.A.B.
Step 1: "C" = compressions first
Step 2: "A" = clear airway
Step 3: "B" = breathing.
These new guidelines apply to adults, children and infants (excluding newborns).
Ianucci demonstrated how to perform CPR on one of the 10 mannequins on the floor.
She described the steps to take:
1. Select someone in the immediate area and direct them to call 911.
2. Shake the person to determine whether they are conscious.
3. If the victim is still not breathing, begin chest compressions in the center of the chest.
Thirty rapid compressions are needed.
4. Clear the throat of any obstructions, tilt the head back pinch the nose and breathe into
their mouth two times. (This was not done as part of the demonstration)
Conventional CPR consists of chest compressions and rescue breathing. The American Heart Association continues to support this approach to CPR, but recent research demonstrates that rescue breathing may be unnecessary.
The Beacon of H.O.P.E. added CPR to the Survivor Summer Camp this year.