Monthly Archives: September 2014

How To Perform CPR: The Crucial Steps You Should Know (and Share!)

This important article (and the associated graphics) is reprinted as a guest blog with permission from Monica Gomez, a freelance health and healthcare writer. Originally published at  The animated GIF images alone are worth sharing!

Anybody can and anybody should learn how to perform CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation): According to the American Heart Association, a stunning 70% of Americans don’t know how what to do if somebody is experiencing a cardiac emergency because they don’t know how to administer CPR or they forgot the exact technique. This is especially alarming since almost 90% of cardiac arrests occur at home — where patients depend on the immediate respiratory care response of their family members. In brief, knowing how to perform CPR can save the life of a loved one someday. CPR-How-To CPR-How-To-AdultsCPR-How-To-ChildrenCPR-Cats-and-Dogs

While 400,000 cardiac arrests happen outside of hospitals each year in the U.S. alone, hands-on CPR can actually double or triple an adult’s chance of survival. However, you need to act quickly. At four minutes without oxygen, the patient will suffer from permanent brain damage. At eight to ten minutes, the patient can die. Almost 90% of cardiac arrest patients die because no one performed CPR at the scene.

Before You Start CPR

First of all, check if the patient can respond by tapping them on the shoulder and shouting “Are you okay?? If they don’t respond, call for medical emergency services immediately. If others are around, instruct them to call 911 and if you’re alone, do it yourself. If the patient is an animal, call the closest animal hospital. If you happen to be near an AED (defibrillator), read the instructions and give one shock to the patient (this applies to humans only).

CPR Steps For Adults and Children 9 and Older: Hands-Only CPR

  1. Lay the patient on their back and kneel next to their neck and shoulders.
  2. Place the heel of one hand on the center of the patient’s chest.
  3. Place the heel of your other hand over the first and lace fingers together.
  4. Keep your elbows straight and align your shoulders directly over your hands.
  5. Begin compression:
  • As hard as possible
  • At least 100x/minute
  • Allow the chest to rise fully between compressions.

TIP: Give compressions to the beat of disco hit “Stayin’ Alive?!

CPR Steps For Younger Children and Infants

  1.  Tilt the head back a bit and lift chin to open the airway and check for breathing.
  2. If there’s no breathing, give either of these two rescue breaths:
  • Child: Pinch the nose shut and make a complete seal over their mouth
  • Infant: Make a complete seal over their mouth and nose.
  1. Blow in for one second, so the chest visibly rises and repeat this once.
  2. Give 30 chest compressions (100x/minute):
  • Child: Push with one or two hands about two inches deep
  • Infant: Push with two to three fingers about 1.5 inches deep.
  1. Repeat these steps three to four times.


Pet CPR – For Dogs and Cats

[Follow these CPR instructions for puppies]

For Animals Under 10kg/22lbs:

  1.  Use the one-handed technique, wrapping the hand over sternum and chest.
  2. Give 30 chest compressions (100-120x/minute).
  3. Allow the chest to fully recoil between compressions.
  4. Give two mouth-to-snout rescue breaths after each set of compressions (30:2).

For Medium to Giant Dogs:

  • Position the animal on its side.
  • Use the two-handed technique, placing your hands over the widest part of the chest.

For Deep, Narrow-Chested Dogs Like Greyhounds:

  • Use the two-handed technique, placing your hands directly over the heart.

For Barrel-Chested Dogs Like English Bulldogs:

Place animal on its back and use the same positioning and technique as for adult humans Whether you perform CPR on an adult, child, infant, or pets, DO NOT STOP unless:

  • The patient starts breathing
  • An EMS or another citizen responder takes over
  • An AED is ready to use
  • The scene becomes unsafe
  • You are physically incapable of continuing

Make sure to practice and/or brush up your CPR abilities today, so you’re ready to potentially save someone’s life in the future! Furthermore, if you’re interested in making it your profession to help people suffering from respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer, heart attack, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or sleep apnea, you should look into Carrington College’s respiratory care program. This two-year program combines classroom lectures, laboratory instruction, and clinical experience in order to prepare you to work in a variety of healthcare settings. If you’d like to assist and educate people regarding respiratory health concerns, our training program is the ideal fit for you!


Filed under Dispatch & Communications, Emergency Communications, EMS Health & Safety, EMS Topics, Fire Rescue Topics, Patient Management, Technology & Communications, Training, Training & Development, Videos

HP-EMS Profile: MedStar Mobile Healthcare

As I was going to be in Dallas for the Fire Rescue conference, I decided to go a little early and pay a visit to MedStar Mobile Healthcare (the renown “birthplace of Mobile Integrated Healthcare”) just over in Fort Worth, Texas.  For anyone who may not have been paying attention to the industry during the last few years, community paramedicine has become a hot topic at conferences for EMS systems that are looking to fill a gap in the healthcare needs of the community.  Significant savings can be realized just in reducing transport demand, especially by “loyal EMS customers”, but additional cost avoidance is available to the hospital in preventing re-admittances.  If you are looking for additional information about implementing a similar program, Matt Zavadsky, director of public affairs at MedStar Mobile Healthcare, has written an excellent description of Community Paramedicine and why it’s the future of our profession. medstarparamedicwithclient

There is really no doubt that EMS as a practice is changing. However, Paramedics and EMTs will always be critical in responding to emergency calls for service, but MedStar has helped show that they can also be effective in using their skills far beyond that traditional role. While it was the MedStar reputation for innovation in delivering high performance EMS related services that enticed me to visit, I was really most impressed by the back-end systems that keep the care providers on the road and doing their job effectively. Community Care Paramedics like Jimmy Aycox, pictured here with his Panasonic Toughbook, rely on the MARVLIS Client software not only for accurate routing information but also patient details presented from the CAD for filling out patient care reports.

MedStar System Status Controller Stacey SokulskyBut what makes it all work in the field actually starts in the dispatch center, whether the calls are emergent or scheduled.  Technology is a critical piece used to find the right resource and route the closest paramedics to the right call.  In many routing systems, the travel impedance (the factor that tries to model the real-life movement of a vehicle) is based simply on speed limits to calculate the time required to move from one intersection to another. These systems are static and do not account for various traffic patterns throughout the day or any seasonal variations such as school being in or out of session.  Then there is also the issue of planned road closures or closures due to accidents that can also significantly affect navigation. In this news story about MedStar, the problem with traffic and road closures is highlighted along with their response in employing new technology to account for these issues. During my visit, System Status Controller, Stacey Sokulsky told me that their “older GPS technology could be up to 2 minutes off [in predicting drive times], but I have not seen MARVLIS be off by more than 10 or 15 seconds.” This can make a big difference in selecting which vehicle to dispatch.

Having the right tools makes the job much easier and allows progressive systems like MedStar Mobile Healthcare to do more outside of the traditional role and thinking. Thanks for letting me get a peek at the heart of your system.


Filed under Administration & Leadership, Case studies, EMS Dispatch, EMS Topics, Profiles, Technology & Communications, Vehicle Operation & Ambulances