Many of our students ask the question "What is the difference between a shockable and non-shockable heart rhythm?" A shockable versus nonshockable initial rhythm can be determined by a shock as opposed to a no-shock message from an automated external defibrillator (AED) or by a review of the electronic recording.
The four rhythms are divided into two groups: two that do not require defibrillation (called “nonshockable”) and two that do require defibrillation (“shockable”). The two nonshockable rhythms are pulseless electrical activity (PEA) and asystole and the two shockable rhythms are pulseless ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrilation.
The ECG will distinguish asystole from ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia and pulseless electrical activity. The ECG appearance of ventricular asystole looks almost like a straight line with the occasional P-wave. Pulseless electrical activity (PEA) is the absence of a palpable pulse or other signs of circulation despite the presence on the ECG monitor of an observable QRS complex which normally produce a pulse. Ventricular fibrillation (v-fib) is a common cause of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. In v-fib the heart begins to quivers with no blood being pumped out of the heart. On the monitor, v-fib will look like a irregular and disorganized wavy line. Ventricular fibrillation may be fine or coarse; coarse ventricular fibrillation is more likely to convert after defibrillation than fine v-fib. Pulseless ventricular tachycardia is a rhythm that is perfusing poorly with patients may or may not be displaying a pulse. Most patients with this rhythm are unconscious and pulseless and the use of the AED is necessary to “reset” the heart so that the primary pacemaker or the Sinoatrial Node can take over. With shockable heart rhythms, if the patient is being monitored, the rhythm can often be identified before significant deterioration.
AED devices are critical for restoring a regular heart rhythm and eliminating an abnormal heart rhythm especially among people at risk risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
Does your organization have a routine maintenance program for your AED? Like anything else technology related, automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, need to be maintained. Batteries run down and need to be replaced. Electrode pads that attach to a patient's chest also deteriorate and have to be replaced every year or so. Circuitry can fail. It is important to due weekly or monthly AED maintenance checks just to ensure that pads, batteries, and cables are working.
One of the primary considerations is the AED battery as most AED batteries last between 2-5 years, depending on the device. It is important to check on the back of your battery to see the specific date that it will need to be replaced.
AED pads typically have a shelf life of between 18-30 months. This short shelf-life is due to a gel that adheres to the victim’s skin and allows for the transmission of data about the victim’s heart rate to the AED device. Over time, this gel may begin to dry out and lose the necessary contact it needs to transmit accurate information. Electrode pads are also not reusable.
In addition, because AEDs often are placed in public areas, they can be disturbed or tampered with. It is subsequently important to make sure the unit is intact and that nothing is broken during visual inspection.
While these maintenance check points are just a few of the things that we inspect here at Help-A-Heart CPR when doing AED inspections, it is critical to know and understand your workplace AED. Email us here at Help-A-Heart CPR if you'd like to establish a routine maintenance plan for your AED. Our contact email is Tracy@helpaheartcpr.com
In just a period of 144 days in 2018, there were 129 deaths in 101 mass shootings in the United States. While logically the focus is to save lives; would you know how to help someone after a gunshot wound?
Regardless of the weapon used, bleeding control is a critical factor in the treatment of a gunshot victim. In the even of a shooting is it critical for bystanders and/or survivors to act before paramedics or professional help arrives. In other words, teaching bystanders and non-healthcare provider how to stop the bleed.
Mount Sinai trauma surgeon Dr. Grace Chang, along with the American College of Surgeons, has reiterated the importance of bleeding control techniques. Dr. Chang stated that “It should be as easy as teaching CPR. You take any cloth or gauze that you have, and you actually apply direct pressure to the wound with both hands". She proceeded to state that "If that doesn’t help, pack the wound."
The following steps are good guideline:
Effective January 2019, Help-A-Heart CPR will begin offering a Child and Babysitting Safety (CABS) Certification course. This course will utilize the American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI) training curriculum and is an comprehensive course that will last approximately 6 hours.The ASHI Child and Babysitting Safety training program provides training in the business of babysitting, proper supervision, basic care-giving skills, and responding properly to ill or injured children and infants. This course will also include a textbook and certification that is valid for 2 years. Although a knowledge of basic CPR and AED training is preferred, it is not necessary to register for this course.
While this class is targeting the 11-15 year old new or existing babysitter, this class is also a wonderful course for those students that may be 9-11 years or even 15-18 years that may or may not have had extensive exposure to child and infant care. Lastly, this course has also been approved by the American Pediatric Association and would be a wonderful skill and certification to add to the training knowledge of the young babysitter.
Giver us a call at 210-380-5344 to inquire about our next CABS certification training class.
Cold weather can affect your body in so many different ways. One of the things that can happen is the potential to lose heat faster than you can produce it resulting in hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature. Hypothermia is often a gradual condition and can result in an altered mental status. However, a body temperature below 95° F is a medical emergency and can lead to death if not treated promptly.
So what do we do to protect ourselves from hypothermia?
They key to staying safe in the cold is to wear several layers of clothing. For example:
Effective 2017, all American Heart Association (AHA) certification cards are issued via e-card and/or distributed to each students' email.
1. You will receive an email from eCards@heart.org with a link inviting you to claim your eCard online. If for some reason you do not receive the email, it is important to check your email spam or junk folder and even add the email address eCards@heart.org to your contacts or address book.
2. The link within the email will direct you to the Student Profile webpage, which will be include your first name, last name, email address, eCard code, AHA Instructor name, and Training Center information. Adding your phone number is optional. Please always check you personal information to ensure that everything is correct-if not; Contact your Training Center!
3. Once you have confirmed that your information is accurate, you will set up a security question and answer to access your eCard(s) in the future.
4. After setting up your security question and answer, accept the terms and conditions of the site and click “Submit.”
5. You will then be directed to fill out a brief survey about the AHA course you just completed.
6. After you complete the survey, your eCard will be displayed. You will have 3 options to view or print it: Save as PDF, use QR code to scan information and access card on mobile device, or print either wallet size or full size.
We hope these instructions are helpful. If you still have questions, feel free to contact us directly.
Any kind of eye injury or subsequent trauma should be taken seriously. Prompt medical attention for eye problems can save your vision and prevent further complications.
Chemical injuries can occur at home or in the workplace. Therefore, it is critical to wear safety glasses when handling toxic or abrasive chemicals and use caution with household cleaners in order to prevent injury.Chemical burn first aid includes:
First aid for a direct impact or blow to the eye includes:
Diabetes is a condition that prevents the production of insulin. Because the individual cannot produce insulin correctly, people with diabetes cannot regulate the amount of sugar that builds up in their bloodstream. This results in various health-related complications. Diabetes is normally divided into two types: Type 1 Diabetes which causes the body's white blood cells to start attacking the cells that produce insulin in the pancreas and Type 2 Diabetes which is a metabolic condition.
People suffering from diabetes can experience complications when participating in a sudden period of intense exercise, missing a meal due to a lengthy meeting or just forgetting, and/or consuming a large meal which results in a influx of complex sugars. Effects do vary from patient to patient, but general diabetic complications result in one of two things: hyperglycemia which is caused by an excess of sugar in the blood or hypoglycemia, caused by the absence of sugar in the blood.
An individual experiencing hypoglycemia will often experience extreme fatigue manifested by weakness, a feeling of dizziness and/or hunger. These individuals may also appear confused and will have cold and clammy skin resulting in trembling or irrational behavior. An individual experiencing hyperglycemia will often have warm skins, a rapid pulse, and unexpected drowsiness. These individuals may also experience dehydration and feel the need to urinate frequently due to their body trying to expel the excess sugars. Due to the fact that copious amounts of sugar in the body can be harmful, individuals experiencing hyperglycemia may become unresponsive, slur words or fail to respond to gentle stimuli. This is an indication that they may be progressing to a hyperglycemic coma; subsequently needing immediate emergency treatment.
If someone appears to be hyperglycemic, then dial 9-1-1. If they become unresponsive then place them on their left side in the recovery position and ensure that their airway remains open until emergency help arrives. If the individual appears to hypoglycemic, have the individual sit or lie down and check to see if they have sweets or any sugar packets. If so, administer immediately. If they do not have a source of sugar, then find cola, fruit juice, or even chocolate and assist them with eating this. During this process, monitor and observe the patient for any signs of a worsening condition. if they become worse, call 9-1-1 immediately.
If someone appears to be hypoglycemic, then have the individual lie or sit down. If then individual is not carrying any sweets with them, then administer come cola, fruit juice, or a sugar packet. Ensure to monitor and observe the individual to see if condition worsens. If the individual begin to become confused or is experiencing extreme fatigue then call 9-1-1.
At some point in one's life, almost everyone has experienced some kind of burn. Whether its due to lengthy exposure to the sun, an accident while cooking, or even a chemical burn. Some burns are unfortunately more serious than others.
Many of you might already know about the degrees of burns, but for those of you not familiar, they include the following:
First Degree: Red skin, no blisters.
Second Degree: Blisters and thickened skin. This may include a burn of either a partial or full thickness of the skin.
Third Degree: Overall thickening of the affected skin with a white or grayish color.
Fourth Degree: The burn not only penetrates the dermal and epidermal layers but also reaches the tendons and bones of the victim.
There are also different types of burn injury causes. These include the following:
Thermal burns can arise from explosions, flame, or hot liquids.
Chemical burns are caused by strong acids of alkali substance and require special care to stop injury to skin.
Electrical burns are caused by exposure to electricity.
Radiological burns are caused by radiation and often require decontamination.
It is also important to remember to never add anything frozen to cool a burn. The placing of ice on the injury can result in tissue ischemia. Instead, cool burn with clean cold water for at least 10 minutes adn if water isn't available then a cool compress can be used a substitute.
Remember, never add anything frozen to cool of a burn. Placing ice on the injury can cause tissue ischemia. Instead, cool burns with clean cold water for at least 10 minutes. If water isn't available than a clean, cool compress can be used as a substitute.
The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) Cardiology has indicated that the ethnicity of a neighborhood may determine the likelihood of receiving CPR or even having access to a AED and post cardiac arrest care.
The empirical research conducted an analysis of data from seven US cities including Birmingham, AL; Dallas-Fort Worth, TX; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; and Milwaukee, WI. The researcher also reviewed the demographic information from each of these cities. Over a 4-year period, the researchers identified 22,816 cases in which cardiac arrest occurred outside of a hospital. The research revealed that overall, 39.5% of those who experienced cardiac arrest outside of the hospital received bystander CPR.
However, the research also noted that rates of bystander CPR were 43.0% in white neighborhoods as compared to 18.0% in black neighborhoods. In addition, the use of an AED occurred more often in white neighborhoods. For example, in white neighborhoods, 4.5% of cardiac arrest victims received bystander defibrillation as opposed to .09% in black neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the research recognized that the opportunities for survival were greatly reduced in black neighborhoods. Further, the researchers also suggested that treatment administered by bystanders and survival experienced during post-cardiac arrest care are much lower in neighborhoods with a higher percentage of black residents.
Starks MA, Schmicker RH, Peterson ED, et al. Association of neighborhood demographics with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest treatment and outcomes: where you live may matter[published online August 30, 2017]. JAMA Cardiol. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2017.2671
Tracy A. Jones is an American Heart Association Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.