About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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A CPR refresher

My CPR certification expires at the end of this month, so I took a recertification class yesterdayCPR at Mary Washington Hospital. The hospital offers regular CPR classes for its employees and the public. The refresher class I took­ lasted three hours and included a written test and skills exam at the end.  It cost $45. (I passed.)

Since it’s still fresh in my mind, I offer here the basics of CPR, as recommended by the American Heart Association and taught by Jenny, Sue and Kathryn at the hospital.

This scenario assumes that you’ve come upon an unresponsive adult, who’s face up on a hard surface.

1.       If others are there, designate someone to call 911 and to get an automated external defibrillator. If you’re alone, call 911 yourself.

2.       Kneeling at the side of the victim, tilt the victim’s head back and lift the chin to open the airway. Look, listen and feel for breathing.

3.       If the victim is not breathing, give two breaths that make the chest rise.

4.       If the person is still not responding, check for a pulse with your index and pointer fingers at the carotid artery in the neck.

5.       If there’s no pulse, begin a cycle of 30 chest compressions followed by two breaths. Push hard and fast during the compressions, 100 times a minute.  If you don’t have a barrier mask and are reluctant to put your mouth on the victim’s mouth, continue the compressions without interruption until help arrives.  

The American Heart Association has plenty about CPR here.