A Co-Worker is in Danger…Could You Help?

January 22, 2009

Take the Red Cross PopQuiz Challenge to Find Out!

1. The Cardiac Chain of Survival consists of a sequence of steps that are activated in response to an emergency in which a person suffers sudden cardiac arrest. Each link in the chain is critical. Put the links in the Cardiac Chain of Survival in the correct order.

1) Early defibrillation — delivers an electrical shock to the heart with an automated external defibrillator (AED)
2) Early advanced medical care — a team of medical professionals arrives and takes over by providing advanced care and transport to a medical facility
3) Early CPR — keeps oxygenated blood flowing to the brain and other vital organs
4) Early recognition and early access — a bystander recognizes an emergency and calls 9-1-1 or the local emergency number

A. 1, 3, 2, 4
B. 3, 2, 4, 1
C. 4, 3, 1, 2

Answer: C. As a responder, you must first recognize an emergency before the rest of the Cardiac Chain of Survival can be put into motion. Early access to care is an important component to a successful outcome. Out of the remaining options in the list, early CPR is next. CPR keeps oxygenated blood flowing to the brain and other vital organs and tissues. Early defibrillation with an AED (automated external defibrillator) is the third step out of those listed. An AED administers a shock that can allow the heart to restore an effective rhythm. In many states, AEDs are now available in public places for use by trained laypersons. Early advanced medical care is the next step. In this step, a team of emergency medical personnel provides care at the scene and transports the person to a hospital.
2.  A person is unconscious. Put the following steps in the correct order:

1) Tap the person and shout
2) Open airway
3) Check for signs of life (movement and normal breathing)
4) Check the scene for safety

A) 3, 2, 1, 4
B) 3, 2, 4, 1
C) 4, 1, 2, 3
D) 1, 3, 1, 2

Answer: C. When an emergency happens, Check-Call-Care are the three basic steps for you to take. As a responder, you must always check to make sure the scene is safe for you and any bystanders. Next, call your local emergency number for help. Then care for the person. Always care for life-threatening emergencies before those that are not life-threatening. The ABCs, which stands for airway, breathing and circulation, will aid you in determining what care the person needs. Determine if the person’s airway is open. Check for signs of life (movement and normal breathing).

3. If a choking person is coughing forcefully, what should you do?

A) Pat the person on the back forcefully
B) Give abdominal thrusts
C) Encourage the person to continue coughing
D) None of the above

Answer: C. If the person is coughing forcefully, he or she may cough the object up, eliminating the need for you to give care. Use a combination of back blows and abdominal thrusts when the person cannot cough forcefully, speak or breathe.

4. CPR is a combination of —

A) Chest compressions and abdominal thrusts
B) Chest compressions and rescue breaths
C) Abdominal thrusts and finger sweeps
D) Rescue breaths and abdominal thrusts

Answer: B. Chest compressions help to circulate blood containing oxygen to the vital organs. Rescue breaths supply the blood with oxygen until advanced medical personnel arrive and take over. When giving CPR, give cycles of 30 compressions and 2 rescue breaths. Continue CPR until —

  • Another trained responder takes over CPR for you.
  • Emergency medical services (EMS) personnel arrive and take over care of the person.
  • An automated external defibrillator (AED) becomes available.
  • You are exhausted and unable to continue.
  • The scene becomes unsafe.
  • Signs of life return.

5. You come upon a person who has pale or bluish skin color, cold skin and dull or sunken eyes. These are symptoms of which medical emergency?

A) High fever
B) Shock
C) Heart attack
D) None of the above

Answer: B, shock. Even if a person’s injuries aren’t life threatening, the person can go into shock and possibly die. Shock occurs when the person’s organs and tissues don’t get an enough of blood or oxygen. The person may be unconscious, but not always. Call for emergency help first, then follow these steps:

  • Maintain an open airway for breathing
  • Control obvious bleeding
  • Elevate the legs about 12 inches, unless the injury makes that impossible
  • maintain normal body temperature (prevent person from getting chilled or overheated)
  • Keep the person on his or her back, unless the person vomits (move person onto his or her side at that point).

How well did you do?

Knowing CPR and first aid can save a life.  Enroll in training today by contacting your local Red Cross Chapter at (815) 963-8471

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CEUs Available for Approved Red Cross Training Courses and Presentations

November 5, 2008

Effective November 3, 2008 training course participants and presentation attendees across all lines of service will be able to obtain CEUs. The Red Cross has been approved by the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET) to offer continuing education units (CEUs) for approved Red Cross training courses and presentations.


New Two-Year Red Cross CPR/AED Certification Now Available!

October 31, 2008

Preparedness and Health and Safety Services conducted a review of the validity length of CPR certification for the professional rescuer based on requests from chapters. All CPR certifications were considered and it was determined that the change to a two-year CPR certificate validity period would be appropriate for professional rescuers other than lifeguards.

Professional rescuers other than lifeguards are in a position to use CPR/AED skills on a regular basis due to job responsibilities. The American Red Cross Advisory Council on First Aid, Aquatics, Safety and Preparedness (ACFASP) review of the scientific literature indicates formal retraining can be changed to a biennial occurrence for some rescuers. The review has indicated that skill and knowledge retention can be accomplished through a variety of methods including skills performance, retraining and skills refreshers. Lifeguards are excluded from the two-year certification due to the predominantly seasonal nature of their work. In addition, the American Red Cross Aquatic Examiner Service supports an annual training standard. Therefore, the certificate issued for lifeguards will be valid for one year.

The American Red Cross announces the following changes to the certificates and validity periods for the CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer course.

  1. Certificates issued in a CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer course will now be valid for two years except for lifeguards whose certification will remain one year. The certificate issued for these courses will be a new certificate titled CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer and Healthcare Provider.
  2. The certificate issued to lifeguards will be a new certificate titled CPR/AED for Lifeguards, which is valid for one year.

Following both the scientific literature and OSHA recommendations, the Red Cross continues to strongly encourage all professional rescuers to retrain in CPR/AED annually and to refresh their skills at least every six months. The maintenance of skills and knowledge is achieved by a combination of course work including retraining, skills refreshers and application of these skills.

If you have questions about this change, contact Jess Paquette, Health & Safety Director of the Rock River Chapter at 815-963-8471 or e-mail blackbournj@usa.redcross.org.


Getting an AED is as easy as 1-2-3! Contact Red Cross!

October 30, 2008

You have probably seen AEDs in airports or at your local fitness center, but what about your workplace or other spots you frequent? Are there AEDs located anywhere? Have you seen them? Would you know what one looks like and how to use it in an emergency? Well…it’s time to check that out, and it’s as easy as 1-2-3.

Step # 1: You may be wondering what the abbreviation stands for. AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator. An AED is a device about the size of a small, laptop computer that analyzes the heart’s rhythm for any abnormalities and, if necessary, directs the rescuer to deliver an electrical shock to the victim. The shock, called defibrillation, may help the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm of its own. AEDs are easy to operate! They use voice prompts to instruct the rescuer. Once the machine is turned on, the rescuer is prompted to apply two pads (provided with the AED) to the victim’s chest. Once applied, the AED will begin to monitor the victim’s heart rhythm. If a “shockable” rhythm is detected, the machine will charge itself and instruct the rescuer to stand clear of the victim and to press the shock button.

Seems like a good device to have around, right?!? Well, get this! In the time it takes you to read this article, sudden cardiac arrest will have claimed another victim. Statistics show that more than 250,000 Americans die of sudden cardiac arrest every year. If someone initiates the Cardiac Chain of Survival, and an Automated External Defibrillator is available at the time of the emergency, up to 50,000 of these deaths could be prevented. AEDs are not just a good idea, they are a life-saving, essential device that should be available everywhere! Hopefully by now, we have covered the first step and you see the value of an AED.

Step # 2: Now you are ready to check your workplace, church, or other areas where you know an AED is needed. You might be the person in charge or you may need to gather with your boss, co-workers, friends, or others to decide to make the purchase, find the funding, etc. Who can you go to now that you are looking for further information and want to purchase? Look no further than the Rock River Chapter of the American Red Cross. We are here to help facilitate the placement of AEDs into your workplaces, community centers, and other places where large groups of people gather. We will provide more detail, demonstrations, and beyond to help you in acquiring an AED where you need one! Just call us at 815-963-8471, and make sure to reference this article.

Step # 3: If you get this far, you are on your way to a much safer place because you are getting an AED! However, there is this one last, crucial step: Get TRAINED! Yes…an AED is easy to use, but training is necessary in order to understand the role of defibrillation in the broader context of the cardiac chain of survival. Training in CPR and AED skills will enable YOU, the rescuer, to use all the steps, thereby significantly increasing the victim’s chance of survival. This is a huge part of what we will discuss with you after you make the decision to purchase.

It really is as easy as 1-2-3 so give us a call, and let’s talk further about making our community a little safer. Call 815-963-8471 or visit rockriver.redcross.org.


Watch Rahil Pirani with Red Cross Health & Safety on Fox from last night – Video

October 21, 2008

In an emergency situation , it’s important to know how to save a life. Rahil Pirani talks about our job fair today at the chapter house (727 North Church Street, Rockford, IL).

Click here to watch!


In case you missed the Red Cross on NBC’s The Today Show this morning – Video

October 20, 2008

Matt Lauer discusses the importance of having a first aid kit and to learn life saving techniques with the Red Cross’ Connie Harvey. Click the link below to view the story.


Click HERE


Ready, Set, Go – Set Your DVRs: the Red Cross is on NBC’s Today Show on Monday

October 17, 2008

Ever wanted to see an example of someone building a first aid kit? Showing the latest CPR and AED techniques?

If you’ve got a TV, you’re in luck! Our own Connie Harvey will appear on NBC’s Today Show next Monday morning as part of their “First Aid Today” series.

  • Who: Connie Harvey
  • What: The Today Show First Aid Today series
  • When: Monday, October 20, 2008 between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. E.T.
  • Where: Your local NBC station

If you don’t have a TV (and even if you do), log on to the Today Show website to see Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED courses and materials featured.

First reported on Red Cross Chat