Medical emergencies can happen anywhere and at any time. This emergencies often occur in locations that cannnot be reached by emergency responders. However, these places may by accessible by civilian passersby just like you. That's why its important to understand the legal requirements pertaining to responding to medical emergencies. This precedent is called the Good Samaritan Law and its important for everyone to know how this law may apply to them.
An understanding what the Good Samaritan Law covers in your state is the first step in the preparation for an emergency. After gaining a better understanding of exactly what the Good Samaritan Law entails then you will hopefully feel better prepared to handle any potential life threatening emergency.
Here in Texas, according to the Texas Good Samaritan Act “a person who in good faith administers emergency care at the scene of an emergency or in a hospital is not liable in civil damages for an act performed during the emergency unless the act is willfully or wantonly negligent.”
So what do this mean for you? In layman’s terms this means that if an individual renders aid in any type of an emergency situation then they cannot be sued unless they are blatantly negligent.
Further, the above indicates that those who would NOT be exempt from The Texas Good Samaritan Act are essentially medical professionals, those that work in hospitals or medical facilities, or those that are expecting some type of repayment.
While a first aid kit is helpful in these medical emergencies that may occur. Even the first aid kit may not be helpful when the skills of the passersby are lacking. Do you want to sign up for these critical courses? Are you interested in learning more about the Good Samaritan Law? Our team at Help-A-Heart CPR, LLC is here to help. Although CPR is part of our name, we also provide Basic and Advanced First Aid classes with classes offered daily.
Preparing for an event involving an active shooter whether its a school, church, or workplace environment requires organization and comradery among all person involved. With the right approach to preparedness skills, individuals of all ages can implement important skills to minimize any risk and remain safe.
Let’s take a look at 5 tips to prepare for an active shooter scenario.
1. Develop and Follow a Action Plan.
An emergency action plan is a necessity. This plan allows organizational leaders and administrators to prepare for active shooter emergencies and identify and implement appropriate training programs. The emergency action plan should also be updated regularly to account for new employees, updated CPR and First Aid techniques, and any physical layout modifications made.
2. Implement Lockdown Protocols.
During a lockdown, it is vital to lock all doors and windows and turn off all lights. Second, it is important to sheltered and in place until authorized personnel deliver an “all clear” message. Organizations should establish lockdown protocols and share these emergency procedures with students, faculty, employees, etc on a regular basis. Additionally, schools should perform lockdown drills at different times throughout the year and update their lockdown protocols as needed.
3. Provide Situational Awareness Training.
Situational awareness training allows an organization to educate its employees or students, etc on what to do when something or someone is identified as being suspicious. Further, it is critical to convey the importance of following cues in the identification of any potential risks in an active shooter situation or any emergency situation and communicating this information to authorities and/or law enforcement.
4. Use Active Shooter Drills.
Active shooter drills allow schools and organizations to prepare for the "worst case" scenarios. The active shooter drills encourages preparation of employees, students. and/or staff while also building confidence and skillss in the event that they do need to respond to a real-world situation.
5. Call 911.
For those who shelter in place and have a cell-phone during an active-shooter emergency, call 9-1-1. Then, it it necessary to provide the emergency dispatcher with as much information as possible regarding the event. After speaking, it is important to keep the cell phone on and turn off the ringer so that the 9-1-1 dispatcher can continue to hear what is occurring at the scene.
While an active shooter situation is something that all of us hope we never experience, it is important to be prepared. Through developing a proactive stance toward the development of the skills needed and acquiring the necessary CPR, AED, and First Aid training, students, employees, and staff and administration can gain the skills needed to increase survival when these events occur.
Many individuals that are working on their nursing degree come to us and ask us what certifications will make them more hire-able or optimize their potential to land an AWESOME job. Here are the top 3 certifications we believe are vital to your success as a new healthcare provider.
ADVANCED CARDIOVASCULAR LIFE SUPPORT (ACLS). If your ultimate goal is to work in the emergency department (ED) then an ACLS certification is required. The ACLS training will provide you with skills to manage codes both as a team member and as a team leader. By learning the different aspects of the algorithms you will be able to provide the most beneficial lifesaving measures. Having a solid understanding of basic arrhythmia is going to be beneficial to you throughout the process of completing your ACLS course.
The attainment of your ACLS Provider Card gives the impression to hospital recruiters that you have the motivation and ability to work in intensive positions within the nursing field. While ACLS is most often provided free by your employer when you are hired, healthcare recruiters are most often looking for nursing candidates that already have their ACLS certification completed. Take that first step and take the ACLS course and add more credibility to your role as a new healthcare provider.
PEDIATRIC ADVANCED CARDIOVASCULAR LIFE SUPPORT (PALS). Would you like to work with children and infants in the healthcare setting and are interested in the ED/ICU facet of patient care? If this is your goal then enrollment in a Pediatric Advance Life Support Course (PALS) is critical. Similar to ACLS, PALS is a course created by the American Heart Association to prepare healthcare providers on the essentials of resuscitating and stabilizing infants and children. Certification courses such as Basic Life Support (BLS) and Pediatric Emergency Assessment, Recognition, and Stabilization (PEARS) provide an excellent foundation for performing CPR and AED on children and infants. However, the PALS course provides a focus entirely on resuscitating and stabilizing infants and children who are in cardiopulmonary arrest.
BASIC LIFE SUPPORT (BLS). As a nursing student or healthcare provider, you probably already have your BLS certificate. While BLS is a more advanced version of CPR training as provided to a laymen rescuer, it also considered a baseline requirement for any healthcare professional working actively in patient care. The BLS is required to be renewed every two years. Here at Help-A-Heart CPR we offer BLS Renewal and BLS Provider courses on a daily and weekly basis. There are many options available as you can either take an in-person class if you need to brush up on your muscle memory and get a more in-depth refresher, or you can take an online skills checkup. If you’re in the greater San Antonio area or South Central Texas, you won’t find a more professional practice or painless process than our Online BLS skills check class here at Help-A-Heart CPR. Our online classes run from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on your skill level. Once you take the class, you can into our facility to perform a skills test to prove that you can do the CPR and AED work necessary for a BLS Provider and get your certification.
Here at Help-A-Heart CPR we strive to provide a simple, expertly-taught, cost-effective option for BLS certification and BLS renewals. We provide initial classes, renewal and update classes, and online classes with skills checks in ACLS, BLS, and PALS at our San Antonio location.
Summer is a time when families get together and people swim in swimming pools and often spend too much time in a heat related environment. Subsequently, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and swimming injuries and drowning can occur.
Heat exhaustion occurs when the individual is exposed to heat for extended periods of time. Heat exhaustion is the result of water depletion or "dehydration and/or salt depletion in the body. Heat exhaustion can be exacerbated by physical activity and is of concern in the summer months especially in warmer climates. Various symptoms of heat exhaustion the result of water depletion can include headache, excessive thirst, muscle weakness, and loss of consciousness. Symptoms of heat exhaustion due to salt depletion include dizziness, nausea and vomiting, and muscle cramps. If you or someone you know is showing signs of heat exhaustion, get out of the heat and into a cool shady place where you can rest, and drink plenty of fluids.
Here in South Texas, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke very quickly. Heat stroke occurs when the body’s temperature rises to at least 104° and neurological complications begin to appear. Besides the body temperature, complications are displayed as observable symptoms including visible confusion or disorientation, seizures, sometimes loss of consciousness, and nausea. If you suspect that you or someone else is experiencing heat stroke, call 911 immediately. Delaying medical attention to can lead to permanent damage to the brain and nervous system.
With summer temperatures often in the triple digits, kids and adults alike take to the water for relief. Pools, lakes, ocean beaches, and other bodies of water are packed with swimmers searching for fun and reprieve from the heat. Despite being fun and entertaining, swimming injuries and drowning can result especially when individuals are not knowledgeable of their own capabilities or tolerance. Children are the most at-risk, as they are often the weakest swimmers. This common summer emergency risk can be greatly avoided by enrolling in swim lessons, where children can learn how to move effectively in water and stay afloat in the event of an emergency. Over-exertion is another cause of swimming injuries and drowning — so if you’re thinking about jumping in the water, know your limits. Stay away from turbulent seas where rip currents may lurk, and never push yourself too hard in the pool, as this can lead to muscle cramps and fainting.
While it’s always best to swim where there is a lifeguard on duty, this isn’t always possible In cases where there is no lifeguard present, it’s crucial that someone in your party knows CPR to properly address a medical emergency. To prepare yourself for the water this summer season, we recommend enrolling in a CPR or First Aid course to learn how to properly administer CPR and administer First Aid protocol when needed.
Are you interested in learning more about how to stay safe this summer? Our experts at Help-A-Heart CPR are here to help. Take a look at our website to learn more about the many emergency response courses we offer and contact us directly to speak with a member of our team. Enroll online to sign up for our accredited courses, earn your certification, and make this summer the safest one yet!
Whether you need the ACLS class to make your professional Resume stand out, or just need it as part of your credentialing as a healthcare provider, when enrolling for the ACLS class the student often does not know what to expect.
So you may ask "What exactly is the ACLS certification?" ACLS is essentially the next level of patient care that extends beyond Basic Life Support CPR. During the ACLS class healthcare providers use a different skill set and knowledge base including starting IV’s and administering medications in an effort to resuscitate the victim. While this skill set and knowledge is very crucial, administering medications and starting IV’s will not be as effective if we don’t go back to basics with Basic Life Support.
In order to be successful in the ACLS course whether its the first time you have taken the course of if it is simply a renewal; the following will optimize your success:
The AHA required ACLS Pre-Test is also extremely beneficial and provides an bird's eye view into the class, the kind of information you will be exposed to along with how it is presented. You can take the ACLS Pre-Test many times as you like until you are comfortable and understand the information. We also recognize this time and effort by giving additional continuing education units too!
The American Heart Association (AHA) updates each curriculum standard every 5 years. During this time the AHA is constantly conducting case studies and research in Emergency Cardiovascular Care to help us improve patient outcome. This being the case, as science evolves and discoveries are made, the number of medications recognized for patients in cardiac arrest has also decreased.
Your Instructor, the ACLS Pre-Test, your ACLS Textbook, and the American Heart Associations ACLS (video-based, instructor-led) course will provide everything you need to integrate the information together and be successful in your ACLS class.
CPR training is critical for children. In fact, if kids become CPR-certified, they could help decrease the loss of life in real-world emergencies.
The following is a real-world example that highlights the importance of teaching kids how to administer CPR in emergencies.
Niyele Jenkins, a 15-year-old resident of Loveland, Colorado, recently saved her father’s life thanks in large part to the CPR training she received at her high school.
According to the Reporter-Herald, Arabee Jenkins, Niyele’s father, went to an urgent care facility on Feb. 16. Arabee was diagnosed with strep throat and returned home with antibiotics the same day. However, on Feb. 19, Arabee felt weak at work, and his boss drove him to the emergency room. Arabee received a treatment of fluids and medication and was sent home. Then, on Feb. 20, Arabee woke up feeling ill and eventually became dizzy. He also struggled to breathe, and his body became stiff.
Lucky for Arabee, Niyele was home. And when Arabee called for help, Niyele was ready to respond. Upon hearing her father, Niyele responded and called her mother, grandmother and 911. Meanwhile, the 911 dispatcher guided Niyele as she administered CPR to her father, who had stopped breathing several times.
Niyele admitted she was scared to perform CPR techniques on her father, but she did not show it. Instead, she performed CPR chest compressions and rescue breaths on her father until emergency responders arrived at her home.
Arabee was later diagnosed with sepsis and returned home several days after the incident. He praised his daughter and believes he would not be alive if not for his daughter’s heroic efforts. He also credits Niyele’s high school for providing CPR training to its students and encourages other schools to do the same.
Unfortunately, many states do not require children of school age to learn CPR. Implementing CPR training for all ages can make a difference in many emergencies.
For instance, a cardiac arrest victim’s survival often depends on a bystander’s ability to perform CPR. Nearly 90% of individuals who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die, the American Heart Association (AHA) notes. Yet the AHA also points out that if an individual receives CPR in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, it could double or triple this person’s chance of survival.
Emergencies can happen at homes, schools, playgrounds and many other settings. These emergencies can occur without warning and many bystanders do not know how to respond to these emergency situations. By providing CPR training to children further allows these kids to become difference-makers in emergencies.
Anyone, regardless of age or professional experience can perform CPR to help save a life. By becoming CPR-certified, kids can become the difference between life and death for family members, friends and others. Parents and kids can receive their CPR certification at the same time as their parents when enrolling in training classes at Help-A-Heart CPR. To inquire about our CPR and First Aid classes please contact us today at 210-380-5344.
Emotional stress can create havoc in our lives while creating a shift in our physiology to that of a “fight-or-flight” mentality. This shift releases adrenaline and cortisol, increasing heart rate and respiration. While this increased alertness might be short lived, for those who perceive their life events as a constant negative stressor, remaining in this "stress" can actually cause harm and illness over time.
Emotional stress sometimes causes lapses in memory, ongoing anxiety, and fatigue. It may also cause a person to avoid everyday activities that he or she previously enjoyed, such as socializing with family members and friends and being productive at work. Emotional stress may even cause mood swings, as well as various long-term health problems.
Obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, insomnia, mental disorders and addictive behaviors are just a few things that occur as the result of long-term stress. However, it is important to remember that not every individual has the same definition of "stress" so the triggers may not be easily recognized.
Stress management strategies often help people cope with emotional stress, and these strategies include:
Maintaining a Healthy Diet: Sugary snacks, dairy products and other foods and beverages sometimes provide an emotional boost, but this boost is only temporary. Instead, eat foods loaded with protein, vitamins and fiber, as these foods have been shown to help people stay happy and healthy. You should also eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day to maintain a continuous fuel source to stabilize your mood.
Get Lots of Sleep: The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults between the ages of 26 to 74 get at last 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. It is also important to sleep in an environment that is free of distraction and particularly electronics such as cell phone, laptop computer, or even the TV.
Take a Break from Your Routine: If you begin to experience signs of emotional stress; take a walk, meditate, exercise, or just engage in something that will allow you to concentrate on other things. This allows you to experience a break from your emotional stress and then return to normal routines feeling a little bit more relaxed and invigorated.
Lastly, it is also crucial to be prepared for events that may be unforeseen including medical emergencies. This preparedness and increased knowledge will give you or that family member that boost of confidence that they know what to do in that specific situation. Whether it be experiencing a BLS Provider Class, the Wilderness First Aid Course, or the Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) Class, these courses can help prepare the student both personally and professionally for the inevitable stressful event of life while allowing you to reduce the effects of long-term stress.
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
Tracy A. Jones is an American Heart Association, ASHI, and American Red Cross Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.