Take me to your AED (machine)
By AED I mean Automated External Defibrillation, or using special equipment to stimulate the human heart during some types of medical emergencies.
A few questions for you: When was the last time you had to use the first aid kit at your workplace? Do you know where it is? With people packed shoulder to shoulder at local malls and stress at an all-time high, do you know where to find the equipment needed to provide AED? Would you know how to use it?
(Dear readers, please be assurred you wont be subjected to a short lecture every time I learn a new skill. But really, if I slipped and impaled myself on a pencil, what would you do? Besides the obvious choices of taking photos for Facebook and calling 911.)
During the course we were taught, among many other things, to provide AED using a kit you might find at a public place, like a mall or hockey rink.
It is basically two large sticky pads you attach to someone’s chest then wait for the machine to tell you – based on a reading of the electrical activity of their heart — if a shock will do them any good.
The machine tells you if it is okay. It is not going to tell you to shock someone with healthy heart function who fell down because all they had was a doughnut and a handful of popcorn before spending an entire day at the Eaton Centre.
Even if I never have to use that machine the idea I would know how to put it together and quickly put it on someone – understanding I would not make them worse – is comforting.
The two-day course was taught downtown on Saturday and Sunday and about a dozen men and women attended. We also covered adult and infant cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), burns, stab wounds, splints, insect bites and poison.
I am planning on using infant CPR as one of my videos at some point so you can see how it is done by a trained instructor.
I will also take a crack at it, hopefully without serious injury to the plastic child.