Emergency response

The Importance of CPR and AED

DF Safety Health and Safety Tips

I was an instructor for many years for various organizations and I am still currently registered as an Emergency Medical Responder with the Alberta College of Paramedics.  Over the years, it has been interesting to see how first aid and CPR have changed. 

One of the changes that I appreciate the most was the simplification of both First Aid and CPR as well as the addition of public AED training. 

These skills are not only important in the workplace, but in your daily life as well. You never know when you may need to apply these skills, so staying on top of them is incredibly beneficial.

What is Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)?

A lifesaving technique, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is used in emergencies such as a heart attack, or in an instance where an individual’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped. Knowing what to do, and how to do it properly, could mean the difference between life and death for the person in need.

CPR serves a critical role as it helps keep blood flowing to the brain and other organs while awaiting medical treatment. Without this oxygen rich blood flow, brain damage can occur in just a few minutes.

What is an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)?

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a medical device that can be used to aid those in cardiac arrest. If needed, it delivers an electric shock (defibrillation), which will help the heart return to a regular rhythm.

“An estimated 35,000 cardiac arrests happen each year in Canada.”

Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation

Knowing how to use this device, whether it be in the workplace, in public, or at home, is helpful in case of emergency. The American Red Cross states that the chances of survival for every minute defibrillation is delayed, are reduced by approximately 10%. 

Rapid access to defibrillation is therefore critical to increased survivability.

How can I be prepared?

Freshly learned skills such as CPR and AED can quickly fade if they are not kept up to date.  I would recommend that everyone take a Standard or Emergency First Aid course every three years. 

In addition, I would recommend that you keep your first aid and CPR textbook handy and have a quick read through it about three months after you have completed your course. DF Safety offers an online AED/CPR Awareness Course, which provides valuable skills review and practice using realistic scenarios to help you feel confident and ready to respond to an emergency.