When cardiac arrest occurs, the heart stops pumping blood. CPR can sport a small amount of blood flow to the heart and brain to buy time until normal heart function is restored.
Cardiac arrest is often caused by an abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (VF). When VF develops, the heart quivers and doesn’t pump blood. The victim in VF cardiac arrest needs CPR and a shock to the heart, called defibrillation. Defibrillation eliminates the abnormal VF heart rhythm and allows the normal rhythm to resume.
People who are CPR certified include life guards, parents and medical personnel. The Red Cross hopes that this training will help professionals and everyday people be prepared to act in emergency situations.
“I find the more training, the better. However, it is better to be certified than just trained because they have tested your knowledge and found you capable,” said Lisa Compton, a senior studying nursing. Compton and Becca Busath, a freshman studying elementary education, were first responders to a girl who fell unconscious at a campus dance May 21. Busath was the manager for the dance, and it was procedure for the volunteers to call her if anything went wrong. In meetings Busath attended previous to the dance, they had rehearsed skits of emergencies such as having a student pass out. These meetings prepared her for exactly what happened. CPR and first aid preparedness is helpful in many different emergency situations.
“A volunteer called me saying that a girl had passed out, so I went over and asked what happened. The girl was not responding but she was breathing. I had someone call 911 and had the lights turned on and the music turned off at which point Lisa responded [to the student].” Busath said.
Busath got the AED equipment because it was standard procedure while Compton talked to the roommates of the unconscious girl who informed her that it was a non-life threatening disorder. Then University Services arrived and took over from there.
“It helps as a first responder to be able to say that you are CPR certified, but with that certification comes more responsibility to be prepared for emergencies,” Compton said.