CPR Are We Doing it Right ?

cpr are we doing it right

Please don’t turn me in to the Grammar Police.  ‘CPR are we doing it right ?’  should really be…. ‘are we doing it correctly’  but that is beside the point.  Read on…

I took my first CPR course in college.  I still remember…

  • the alcohol wipes for resusci-annies mouth,  I hated when they were referred to in print as ‘manakins’  What?  it’s mannequin.  what is with the phonetic spelling these days?  Wow, is today English usage tangent day?  So sorry…I digress.
  • the one. and. two, and three. and…rhythm of the chest compressions,
  • and thinking to myself that I should make sure my hair is in a pony tail if ever someone collapses in my presence.

My CPR-certified wallet card was earned and I was hooked.  I was hooked on the high of maybe saving someones life someday.   It was before that though, that the bug really bit.  If I recall it was somewhere between my elementary years when my dad flew the first LIFEFLIGHT Helicopter in our state and the weekly TV episodes of Rescue 911.  You remember that show don’t you?  it was a medical drama hosted by William Shatner where they reenacted actually 911 calls.  I set my clock by that show.  They are probably all online if you are curious.

Anyway, back then, you checked the ABC’s and mouth-to mouth was involved in CPR.  Secretly I hoped the person suffering from a heart attack * was a really cute guy or at least someone I knew and loved…cause who really wants to do a lip-lock with a stranger?

A was Airway, B was Breathing, and C was Circulation.  They were checked in that order.  Look, Listen, Feel.  Are you with me?  Is this sounding familiar?  That was the system.  BUT.  Do you know that Resuscitation Science is an evolving study that is being constantly updated and improved?  I think I knew that, but did you also know that we MUST evolve with it?  Well I didn’t want to. (Imagine visual of pouty foot-stomping tantrum here)

A couple of years ago, my city offered a CPR course for $5, only five bucks!  Most of these classes are in the $25 + range and that just isn’t doable for me…but the planets aligned and I could afford that and needed a refresher so I signed up for the class.

Then my world was ROCKED.

They were now teaching C.A.B.  What?  You can’t just move letters around on me..that’s not cool.  This was also when the ‘compressions only’ CPR was introduced to me.  Blasphemy I say.  How can you revive a person who isn’t getting rescue breaths….I still carried around my CPR one-way-valve face-shield keychain, can you tell I’m still not convinced?

Fast forward to May 2013.  I’m now working part-time with our local EMS and I need to get my CPR certification for healthcare workers….so I take the class again to get that wallet card updated.  CAB is still the standard in the guidelines and I’m told that outcomes are better with compression-only CPR, but WHY?  I want to know why that is, but that question remained unanswered.

Here’s an entertaining video from the UK about hands-only CPR

and here’s one from my side of the pond


Now here we are in June 2013 and I’m taking an online course called Cardiac Arrest, Hypothermia, and Resuscitation Science , in it I finally learned the WHY of Compression-only CPR.  Now it all makes sense, I GET it, I am completely on board.  Just a quick plug for the course.

  • It’s FREE.  (I’m all about free)
  • The presentation is very clear
  • The class lectures are engaging and well laid out.
  • They don’t take much time to watch
  • The material is understandable to people with all levels of knowledge, from the ‘layperson’ with minimal or no CPR knowledge to medical professionals.

It’s a 6 week course but really it takes less than 1 hour per week to watch the material.  This info should be in the hands of every teen and adult.

Oh  and if you are wondering about the WHY…it has to do with keeping the victims blood-pressure within certain levels until the heart can be shocked back into rhythm (with an AED).  When you stop compressions to give breaths, the blood pressure drops to nothing and has to build back up when compressions start again, that time when there is no or very low blood pressure is very damaging to the tissues, brain etc.  When compressions are consistent, oxygen is still delivered to the blood through the act of compressing the chest.

This is training that we should all have,  the life you may save may be a friend or family member…or not, but even if it’s not, they are someones friend or family member.

My suggestion is to contact your local EMS and ask about CPR certification classes, if there are none planned, organize your family, friends, neighborhood, or work colleagues and set up a class.  After all, if you are the victim of Cardiac Arrest, you want the people around you who know what to do.

*  Just a side note but I thought I’d share.  Up above I mentioned CPR for a heart attack victim.  Another thing I learned in the course is that Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest are two completely different things and are treated very differently.  Cardiac arrest is the sudden stopping of the heart.  These people collapse and are technically dead.  We fix that with CPR and defibrillation with an AED (shock).

Heart Attack is lack of blood flow to part of the heart muscle due to a blockage in a coronary artery, an artery that feeds the heard muscle.  This victim has chest pain, sweating etc.  This is treated with medication, and often surgery to remove or bypass the blockage.   The media uses these terms interchangeably so that’s why we use them but they are different…Really that is neither here nor there but I just thought I’d share, and now you know so you can use them correctly.



  1. Harry "ACE HELICOPTER PILOT" Wadley says:

    Best posting ever. I guess that’s the correct terminology for your BLOG. Right up my alley, although, I do have many more pictures that you could have used. You know, the ones with me in them.

    Your Super Hero DAD

    • Andrea says:

      I would LOVE to add some pics to this post of my HERO dad and is bird. Bring them next time you come and I’ll get them added.
      Love You,
      Your Super Hero Daughter 😉

  2. Mindy says:

    Awesome post! Thanks. You encourage me to try!

    • Andrea says:

      Yea Mindy! That is why I do this. Please do, you are going to be Awesome!

  3. Loretta says:

    Love it! Nebo School district is no longer requiring CPR/First Aid for the classroom Techs, bus drivers or bus techs or any of it’s classified employees. Jim and I found our own CPR class, but I’m a believer. I’ve had my CPR certification since 1979, and even was an instructor for a few years. I think it’s something everyone should know, especially the people that care for our kids several hours a day. Yes this is a blatant plug to call Nebo School district and get everyone trained.

    • Andrea says:

      I just messaged the District with my concerns about the lack of training. I’ll let you know if I hear back from them. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

  4. It’s really important for everyone to take CPR classes and get a refresher course if you have not been practicing it. It’s always best to be prepared because we never know when we will need those CPR skills. There’s still so much to learn and we should never stop learning.

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