Just Who is this Heimlich Guy, Anyway? on onebeatcpr.com

Just Who is this Heimlich Guy, Anyway?

Everything you need to know about the Heimlich Maneuver

Thanks to movies and television, we’ve all probably wondered what we would do if we’re dining in a restaurant and someone started choking on their dinner. The Heimlich Maneuver has been dramatized over and over again, but would we actually feel comfortable doing it at the moment?

The method has been known to save lives, but there’s also been some controversy over whether it’s the best method out there, as well as what it should be called. Here’s a brief look at the background of Dr. Henry Heimlich, his ground-breaking maneuver, and how to do it.

Heimlich’s history

Dr. Henry J. Heimlich was a thoracic surgeon who made several impactful discoveries during his lifetime. His research was conducted with the help of the Heimlich Institute in Cincinnati, of which he was president.  He had many medical accomplishments, among them developing a treatment for victims suffering from trachoma, and acting as the first American surgeon to perform a reversed gastric tube operation, which replaces the esophagus.

According to Dr. Heimlich’s memorial website, still operated in his honor since his death in 2016, he invented the Heimlich Maneuver in 1974 when he heard that thousands of Americans die every year from choking. After years of research, he then discovered a way to force trapped air out from the lungs that would apply enough pressure to remove the obstruction from a person’s windpipe.

Because the maneuver is pretty simple for anyone to perform in a crisis, it became very popular and is still attributed to saving lives every year, according to the Heimlich website.

After a 1985 announcement from the Surgeon General claimed that the method was the only way to save choking victims, the American Red Cross recommended the Heimlich Maneuver, under that name. But in 2006, the organization removed “Heimlich” from the name and instead referred to the maneuver as “abdominal thrusts,” which is how it’s still termed today.

The Red Cross now recommends pairing the abdominal thrusts with blows to the back between the shoulder blades when someone is choking. Dr. Heimlich asked the Red Cross to remove his name from this new form of his method since he did not condone pairing his maneuver with the blows to the back.

How to perform the Heimlich Maneuver

To perform the Heimlich Maneuver the way Heimlich had intended it, and how the Red Cross still recommends you perform the abdominal thrusts, take the following steps:

  1. Stand behind the victim and wrap your arms around their waist.
  2. Make a fist, placing the thumb side of the fist against the victim’s upper abdomen, below their ribcage but above their navel.
  3. Grasping your fist with the other hand, press into the abdomen with quick, upward pressure. Make sure you’re not squeezing the ribcage but confining the thrust to your fist.
  4. Repeat until the obstruction is expelled.

The American Red Cross recommends that the above procedure is performed only after five back blows have been given to the victim. This is done by giving them five hits with the heel of your hand between their shoulder blades after bending the person forward at the waist.

The recommended procedure is then to continue the steps – five back blows followed by five abdominal thrusts – until the victim is no longer choking. Before performing any method on any victim, however, the Red Cross advises to call 9-1-1.

What if the victim is lying down or unconscious?

If this is the case, give the victim four upward thrusts with the heel of your hand just above the waistline, while straddling the victim. Repeat several times if necessary.

While the American Red Cross and other health organizations like the American Heart Association have modified Dr. Heimlich’s original method, his ground-breaking work popularized a new life-saving method for choking victims, and he won the Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award in 1984.

For more information about CPR, AED, and first aid training in your area, get in touch with One Beat CPR. We offer a variety of lifesaving education classes that will help families, educators, or companies deal with emergency situations.

Is Pet First Aid Really a Thing? on onebeatcpr.com

Is Pet First Aid Really a Thing?

It is, and you can use it to save the life of your furry best friend

For most of us, our pets aren’t just pets. If you call your dog or cat your “baby” or refer to yourself as his or her parent, you are certainly not alone. And because our pets are so important to us, we want them to be as happy and healthy as possible. But would you know what to do if they needed immediate medical help? These first aid tips can help you prepare ahead of time.

Pay attention

You know your pet better than anyone, so you should be able to spot things that are out of the ordinary. If they’re not eating or drinking as much and aren’t as active as usual, these could be signs that something is wrong. You may want to check their vital signs – including pulse and temperature – on a regular basis so you know what’s normal.

Common pet emergencies

Choking

Signs of choking include coughing and trouble breathing, and a dog or cat may also paw at their mouth. You should try to look into their mouth to see if you locate the item. If you see it, you may be able to use a tool like tweezers to get it out. You’ll need to be careful, however, as a panicky pet is more likely to bite. Even if you are able to get the obstruction out, it’s important to have your pet looked at by a doctor.

Bleeding

If you have or have had young children, you know how easily they can get cuts and scratches. And while pets are usually a little savvier, if they spend a lot of time outdoors, chances are they come inside with their own cuts periodically. While most of these probably aren’t serious, if you notice a lot of blood, you’ll need to act. It is important to quickly find the wound and put a cloth or towel over it and keep the pressure on it for at least a few minutes. If this isn’t effective, you will need to create a tourniquet before taking your pet to the vet.

Heatstroke

Because of our hot climate in South Florida, heatstroke is something we all especially need to be aware of. Signs include panting, labored breathing, and possible vomiting. It’s important to get your pet cooled quickly, and you can do this by wrapping them in towels soaked in lukewarm water so they don’t become cooled too quickly. Putting them in front of a fan and giving them water can also be helpful.

What about dogs and chocolate?

While there are many types of foods dogs shouldn’t be eating, chocolate may be the worst, as it can cause seizures, vomiting, and even death. If you see your dog eat a large amount of chocolate, you’ll need to see a vet as soon as possible. The same is true if you only suspect that it was consumed; this is another instance when knowing what’s normal and what’s not with your dog’s behavior will come in handy.

What should you do if your pet collapses?

Time is of the essence if your pet collapses. The CPR procedure in pets is similar to the one used to resuscitate people, but with some key differences. The first thing you’ll need to do is check to see if they’re breathing. If they aren’t, you will have to start compressions.

  • For cats and small dogs, you need to put the heel of one hand over their heart and the other hand on top of it.
  • For dogs that have a deep chest, you should put the heel of one hand on the widest part of the chest and put the other hand on top of it.
  • For dogs that are more barrel-chested, you will put one hand on the widest part of the sternum and put your other hand on top of it. You will want to ensure your shoulders are directly above your hands.

With your hands in the proper position, you will then push at a rate of about 100 compressions per minute, compressing 1/3 to 1/2 the width of their chest. After 30 compressions without any response, you will need to give rescue breaths. This entails closing your pet’s mouth and extending their neck. You will then cover their nose with your mouth and exhale enough so you see their chest rise. After a second rescue breath, you’ll need to resume CPR. You should continue this pattern until your pet starts breathing on their own or you get to your vet.

Know what to do in the event of an emergency

Because you want your pets to always be cared for, it’s important to know what to do if they’re in distress. At One Beat CPR, while we don’t offer classes specifically for rendering aid to pets, we teach life-saving skills that can be used on any person, of any age. And these skills just might help in an emergency involving the four-legged members of your family as well. Check out our class schedule here.

Aspirin and Cardiovascular Health on onebeatcpr.com

Aspirin and Cardiovascular Health

Why aspirin remains a wonder drug for the heart

Aspirin is in the Guinness Book of World Records.

In 1950, this pain-relieving drug was the most frequently-sold painkiller, setting new records. While the substances inside the drug have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, aspirin, as it exists today, is a fairly recent development.

One of the drug’s most important benefits is its impact on heart health. And while aspirin has life-saving properties, there are certain risks to be aware of before you take it. Always consult with a doctor before starting any kind of medication regimen.

The history of aspirin

In 1897, acetylsalicylic acid was termed “aspirin by the Bayer Company, and this was the first time the drug was marketed. However, researchers think that salicylic acid was used up to 4,000 years ago when the Sumerians discovered that the willow tree offered pain remedies. Salicylic acid is extracted from the bark of the willow tree, among other kinds of trees, and is in the salicylates group.

The Royal Society published a report on willow bark in 1763, discussing how it can cure fevers. And in 1853, Charles Frederic Gerhardt, a French scientist, synthesized acetylsalicylic acid for the first time.

But aspirin didn’t become mainstream as a cardiovascular remedy until about the 1940s when Dr. Lawrence L. Craven started prescribing aspirin for male patients to prevent clots in the arteries of the heart. A controlled trial in 1974 revealed that heart attack deaths were reduced up to 25% from the use of aspirin. Since then, numerous other studies have shown a reduction in cardiovascular events when patients take aspirin. Now, current health organizations like the American Heart Association (AHA) embrace aspirin as an effective preventative measure and treatment for those at risk for cardiovascular issues.

Aspirin and heart health

Many medical professionals today will recommend a daily dose of aspirin after a patient experiences serious issues like a heart attack or stroke.

This is because aspirin can help prevent blood clotting. Our bodies have natural platelets that go into action when we get wounds. These platelets build up and essentially form a seal to stop any bleeding.

Atherosclerosis is the process in which fatty deposits of cholesterol buildup in arteries and can eventually lead to blood clots that block the arteries. This form of buildup is called plaque, which usually affects large or medium-sized arteries. This is how clots can block blood flow to the heart, which is the major cause of heart attacks.

Aspirin reduces the clumping of our platelets, which can prevent heart attacks from occurring.

However, because aspirin can increase bleeding in general, Harvard Men’s Health Watch reports that most doctors today recommend small daily doses, about 81 mg a day, which is known as “baby” aspirin. This is the standard recommendation for preventative purposes.

If someone is experiencing heart attack symptoms, an emergency dose of 325 mg is recommended, which is a full, adult dose. But the American Heart Association first says to call 9-1-1 before taking or administering anything, as many people tend to (improperly) wait for the drug to kick in to see if they can avoid going to the hospital.

This can be a life-threatening mistake, and you should always seek emergency medical help if you think you are having heart attack symptoms. These include chest tightness or discomfort, shortness of breath, or lightheadedness, among others. The AHA also recommends that people with a high risk of heart attack, or those who have survived a heart attack, should also take a low dose of aspirin daily.

Risks of taking aspirin

Even though aspirin can prevent life-threatening issues, the American Heart Association lists some risks of taking the drug. Complications can arise if you have an aspirin allergy, drink alcohol regularly, are at risk of hemorrhagic stroke or gastrointestinal bleeding, or are going to have any medical or dental procedures.

People are at risk in these situations because aspirin thins the blood, thus making it harder to clot when a blood condition exists or when undergoing serious surgical procedures.

If someone is experiencing a stroke, the AHA does not recommend that they take aspirin. This is because blood thinning may actually make bleeding strokes more severe – bleeding strokes are those that are not caused by blood clots (though other types are).

Before making any decisions about taking aspirin regularly, talk to your doctor. And to learn more about your training options for serious, life-threatening emergencies, get in touch with One Beat CPR today. We offer a variety of courses, including First Aid and CPR and AED training programs – all of which can save a life.

4 Workplace Wellness Trends to Watch for in 2018 on onebeatcpr.com

4 Workplace Wellness Trends to Watch for in 2018

Unhealthy lifestyle choices and chronic disease cost businesses billions in healthcare every year. Corporate wellness programs encourage individuals to make their health a priority.

Employers play an important role in helping their workers get healthy with programs and incentives – both to create a healthier, happier workforce as well as to save on long-term medical costs. Here are four corporate wellness trends making their way into the workplace this year:

1. Personalized wellness services

Health is highly personal, and a “one-size-fits-all” approach won’t meet every employee’s individual needs. What’s vital to one person may be unimportant to another.

Companies are branching out and offering more personalized wellness services to serve employees efficiently. Many employers offer access to an individual health coach or incentivize good habits like exercise and healthy eating.

Companies also use digital platforms and online portals that can help employees keep track of their health and wellness goals. New fitness technology, like wearable fitness trackers and pedometers, makes it easy for companies to tailor programs and health tracking to individuals.

Individual health coaching, online health forums and portals, and fitness trackers such as Fitbit all serve as interactive experiences for employees. Utilizing these tools and programs can encourage workers to engage with wellness services.

2. A holistic approach

In the early days of corporate wellness initiatives, most programs were broad in nature and focused on a few key aspects of health. These traditional services typically covered things like weight management and quitting tobacco.

Today’s companies are incorporating programs that encompass more areas of employee health. This holistic approach means things like sleep and stress get just as much attention as other healthy habits. Even financial health programs are being instituted because of the tangible link between financial stress and physical health issues. By addressing more aspects of health and wellness, these programs can be more effective than the simpler programs dedicated only to one or two habits.

And the benefits aren’t just altruistic. Sleep deprivation and stress are serious problems for today’s workforce. Studies estimate that sleep deprivation costs U.S. employers up to $411 billion each year. Other studies have shown that workplace stress causes up to 120,000 deaths each year.

By encouraging employees not to work excessive overtime hours late into the night, or providing a flexible schedule, employers are helping workers lower stress and get adequate sleep – plus boosting productivity and engagement, and potentially lowering healthcare costs.

3. Integrating workplace options for wellness

Another trend cropping up in workplace wellness is the effort to integrate healthy options for employees.

Many individuals rely on the food provided by their workplace. Companies are working to make nourishing food available in on-site cafeterias. Vending machines that would normally hold chips and cookies are starting to include snacks like mixed nuts, healthy juices, and cut veggies. Providing these items gives employees the chance to make healthful choices.

Employers are also starting to set up workstations designed to discourage workers from being sedentary all day long. Sitting in front of a computer for long hours can result in eye strain, poor posture, and carpal tunnel syndrome, not to mention unhealthy metabolic changes with long-term health effects. Standing desks and treadmill walking desks are easy to install and they can be a great alternative for employees who would otherwise be sitting for most of the day.

4. Emergency Training

A recent survey conducted by the American Heart Association revealed that most US employees do not know how to respond to a workplace emergency like the sudden cardiac arrest. Half of those surveyed were not able to locate an automated external defibrillator (AED) at their office.

Although workplaces are making strides in providing employees holistic wellness programs, they are behind in preparing their workers for emergency situations at work. Most of the survey participants did not have access to CPR or basic first aid training.

Training employees how to perform CPR, use AEDs, or provide basic first aid can save lives. In a single year, 475,000 Americans die from cardiac arrest, and the survival rate of the 356,000 that occur outside of a hospital setting is only about 10 percent.

CPR saves lives by combining breathing into the mouth and chest compressions to keep oxygenated blood moving through the body when the heart has stopped. The American Heart Association says that “CPR can double or triple chances of survival after cardiac arrest.” And because an AED resets the heart’s rhythm with electric pulses, it is even more impactful in increasing survival rates in cases of cardiac arrest.

Training employees to respond in emergency situations like these is a critical part of workplace wellness.

At One Beat CPR + AED, we are dedicated to educating everyone about responding to an emergency, and we provide American Heart Association-certified CPR and AED training for groups and individuals. For more information, reach out to us today at 954-321-5305 or fill out our contact form.