Thursday, September 30, 2010

The countdown begins....

Guidelines 2010 will be released in just a few weeks!

What are Guidelines 2010? They are changes in how we will perform and teach CPR.

Twice a year the International Liason Committee on Resuscitation or ILCOR meets regularly to review scientific studies done on CPR. When there is enough information that suggest that changes should be made they release new guidelines on how we should perform CPR.

October 18th is the date the new Guidelines will be released this year.

What does this mean if you just took a CPR class?

You are still certified in CPR If you have recently taken a class or are planning on taking one before October 18th. Despite releasing the new guidelines on that day, CPR instructors will not have the new training materials until next winter or spring at the earliest. However most of us will be incorporating the new guidelines into our classes until the training materials are available.

How do you find out what the changes will be? You can visit this blog for updates or the American Heart Association website.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Video (or computer) based training versus learning it the old fashioned way

I'll admit it. I'm a geek. Seriously.

I belong to several multiple online groups, where I learn and interact with some great people on topics from work-life balance, work-home balance, business network and yes... CPR and First Aid. Indeed, I have online conversations with people about how we teach CPR. Sounds geeky, but I do learn a lot from these groups!

There has been a discussion topic that we keep coming back to; online training. Are DVD's and websites replacing the instructor as the best way to learn CPR?

Recently a member of one group posted a link to an article in Resuscitation
Volume 81, Issue 8, August 2010, Pages 1004-1009
titled Comparison of instructor-led automated external defibrillation training and three alternative DVD-based training methods.

On the edge of your seat wondering the final result of the comparison?

Their initial premise was:
Self-directed BLS-training, using a personal training manikin with video has been shown to be as effective as instructor-led training. This has not previously been investigated for AED-training.

Their conclusion was:
DVD-based AED-training without scenario is not recommended. Scenario training is a useful addition, but instructor-facilitated training remains the best method.

Yes, instructor facilitated training remains the best way to learn how to use an AED in CPR. There are many websites offering CPR programs with no hands-on component that will allow you to print your card at the end of the online test. But the best way to learn a practical skill is to do it the old-fashioned way, hands-on practice with an instructor.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The bracelet that speaks for you when you can't

Last spring I wrote a post Do you work out with ID? based on an accident that occurred earlier that month. A bicyclist was found unresponsive on the side of the road. CPR was successfully performed, but he remained unresponsive at the hospital. He had no ID on him and fortunately an article in the paper led to someone identifying him before he tragically passed away.

This local story started me on a quest that I had been meaning to do for a while. I will state unequivocally that I am not an athlete. But I walk around town quite a bit - usually pushing at least one child in a stroller. I never take my wallet with me, usually just my cell phone, house keys, water, sippy cup(s) (that's for the kids) and a small diaper bag. That's enough stuff to be pushing around town without adding my wallet or purse. I never carry ID. And in a town with no sidewalks and no level shoulder on most roads that means cars have to move around me or I have to jump in a ditch with a stroller. Obviously I should be carrying some sort of emergency ID.

I had heard of one brand, but when I looked them up online I found it was a tag. Something I'd have to clip or wear on a chain or something. Good idea, but not something I would probably remember to do. I'm the kind of person who wears no jewelry save for my wedding band - I don't even wear a watch. I'm looking for simple and easy. I was also looking for something that could double as a medical alert. I don't have any medical concerns, but as a First Aid instructor I do cover medical jewelry and ways to let emergency responders know important information about you.

So I was really excited when I found Road ID. Road ID is a bracelet with a custom made metal plate on it. You can have almost anything reasonable printed on it. It comes in 2 different materials, a variety of colors and sizes AND they offer additional bands for a reasonable price. You can just move the tag from bracelet to bracelet. They also have an interactive version with a website, 800# and pin for additional information that you might not want printed on the plate. In addition to the bracelet they have an anklet, shoe ID, shoe pouch, reflective shoe laces and a bunch of other safety gear. At first glance you'd think these were all for athletes, but really this is designed for anyone who is out and about and doesn't always carry an ID with them.

So I ordered one and I love it!  The picture is of one of the roads I walk on and you can see my purple Road ID on my wrist, and the very top of my daughter's head in front of the stroller bonnet.

In fact, I was so impressed with the information on their website that I've become an affiliate with Road ID and I'm now offering their products through my website.

What do I like about my Road ID? I had mine engraved with my name, town, home phone number, my husband's name and his cell phone number. I could have added other relatives or medical information. The webbing band of the Road ID Sport is water safe. I can swim in it, get splashed in it and do my normal household routines while wearing it. It is comfortable, seriously, I don't realize I have it on most of the time. It doesn't look clunky or like what you think an ID or Medical ID would look like. Looks nice enough my kids want one of their own.

So while I try to keep business promotion out of my blog, here's a deal I want to share. The first 20 people who order from Road ID before September 22nd can use code ThanksGail827165 and receive $1 off their order. Or if you're local shoot me an email, I have some coupons as well. All the Road ID links in this post go to my site. If you use the link on my website I will receive credit for any purchases you make. They also have reflective shoe laces, bracelets, ankles and clip on flashing lights which are giving me some creative ideas for Halloween.

So if you're looking for a comfortable medical ID or you are normally out and about with any ID on you this is a comfortable and easy way to let others know who you are if you are injured or unable to speak for yourself.

Disclaimer: I purchased my Road ID on my own. I paid the full $19.99 price (what a deal!) and I was not asked to provide any public feedback on my purchase. I'm really happy with it and think it's a great product.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hurricane Preparedness 2010

I am always amazed at science and how technology improves how we live and react to things around us. Meteorology is one of them. 100 years ago our ancestors knew a storm was coming when the weather began to turn. Today we know the forecast 10 days ahead of time. Hurricane Season is typically considered early June to late November, with a peak in the Atlantic between August and October.

Hurricane Earl is working its way towards the Eastern coastline. Here in NH it looks like we’ll just get the outer fringes of the storm. Despite really good science and technology, it is still a guess and the prediction of the storm’s path is just that, a prediction. Which is a fancier word than educated guess.

But what it does give us is time to adequately prepare for the storm. Advanced warnings mean that we can shop, stock up and avoid last minute craziness at the market or home improvement store. It is recommended that you have a 3 day store of supplies on hand when preparing for a hurricane. While we each had different definitions of ‘staples’, here is a quick list of items to have at home:
  • Food. Preferably non-perishable. Which means things that don’t necessarily need refrigeration in case you lose power. If you rely on electricity to cook then stock up on food that you don’t need to heat or prepare to eat. This can include ready-to-eat canned or packaged fruits, veggies & meat and granola bars or snacks. If you use infant formula make sure you have plenty on hand.
  • Water. You should have at least 1 gallon of water per person per day in your home. Half of this is for drinking, the other half is for cleaning food & washing.
  • First Aid kit. You never know when you’ll need a bandage or more.
  • Medication. If you or someone in your family needs daily or weekly medication make sure you pack that. Emergency medications such as an Asthma inhaler or Epi-Pen should be easy to locate if needed.
  • Paper products. Disposable plates, silverware, cups to eat with – if you don’t have running water (If you have a well and lose power your lose your water) you can’t wash dishes.
  • Emergency supplies. Flashlight, battery operated radio, extra batteries, hand-operated can opener, utility knife, tape, plastic sheeting, small tool kit, fire extinguisher, toilet paper, personal hygiene items, trash bags.
  • Clothes & bedding. Rain clothes, dry clothes, sleeping bags.
  • Documents. Put important documents like insurance policies and medical cards in a sealable plastic bag so they won’t be damaged if they get wet.
  • Supplies for infants and young children. Formula, diapers and things to keep young children entertained.
  • Supplies for pets. Pet food, leash, travel crate. Call around… does your city or town have a shelter that accepts pets?
If you need to evacuate to an emergency shelter what would you want to bring with you? Take 10 minutes, make a list and pack it so you’re ready to go if you need to.

If the authorities or safety department in your community recommends evacuation please do so. An evacuation recommendation is made for your safety.

This is not an exhaustive list, but rather some quick guidelines. Many of these items you may already have in your home. Take a minute to do a quick inventory to see how many you can locate, plan to do so before Earl arrives so that you’re not unprepared.

For more information you can visit the National Hurricane Survival Initiative.