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How to Become a Paramedic/EMT

Paramedic on duty

Saving lives is something that anyone can learn to do at any point, which is exactly why we here at Northwest offer free CPR classes to our students. However, for some, the act of saving a life becomes a calling, leading them to train as some of our most valued first responders, paramedics and emergency medical technician (EMT). If a career saving the lives of other appeals to you, here is a short guide to becoming a paramedic or EMT. Paramedic/EMT: What Is the Difference? The terms paramedic and EMT are used fairly interchangeably, but the reality is that they are tow..


First Aid Tips for Cold Weather

first aid kit

There's that old familiar chill in the air, which can only mean one thing: It's officially the season of slips and spills, sniffles and sneezing! With snow and ice officially in the forecasts and a blizzard in Buffalo, New York, that buried them under around ten feet of snow, it's time to start thinking about how to prepare and inform ourselves so that we can stay safe throughout the cold winter months. With the ground getting icy and slick, falls, sprains, sore backsides, and broken-bone injuries increase dramatically during this time of year. Additionally, with the dip in temperatures, there..


What Happens When CPR Fails?

Giving CPR to a older gentleman who suffered a heart attack in the park.

Receiving training in CPR put you in the unenviable position that, while CPR certainly saves lives, you might be called upon to perform it, and it might not work. The reality is that, outside of the movies, CPR does not work every time. In fact, on its own CPR only works around 2% of the time, mostly because it is not designed to be used in isolation. So What Happens When it Doesn’t Work?   If you are trained in CPR then there is a very real possibility that you might be involved in something similar to the following example:..


How To Perform CPR On An Infant

Performing CPR on an infant is significantly more difficult than on an adult, requiring a much gentler approach and some fairly significant changes to the normal CPR procedure. The first, and most important, thing to do is to check if the infant is actually unresponsive. Accidentally performing CPR on an infant that doesn’t require it can be very dangerous. If they seem unresponsive, tap or flick the sole of their feet to try and trigger a response. If they do not respond, check for breathing by looking for chest movement, listening for the sounds of normal breathing and seeing if..


Do You Need To Give Rescue Breathing During CPR?

a construction worker giving CPR to his colleague

Until 2005, most guidelines for performing CPR recommended 15 compressions on the chest, followed by two breaths into the person’s mouth, followed by 15 compressions again. This sequence was then repeating until medical help arrived. In 2005, the American Heart Association (AHA) alongside many other CPR organizations, changed their recommendations to 30 compressions followed by two breaths.   Recently, research by Professor Gordon A Ewy and his team, conducted at the University of Arizona, indicated that that compressions alone were just as effective as compressions with breaths, as long as the compressions were perfromed correctly and in a timely manner...


Is It Safe to Perform CPR on a Pregnant Woman?

A woman performing life-saving CPR while onlooker is calling someone over the phone for help.

Cardiac arrest is something that can strike at any time and sadly this includes during pregnancy. Pregnancy does put an extra strain on a woman’s body and this can sometimes, although rarely, trigger cardiac events.   Performing CPR on a pregnant woman can be challenging, but is very much possible. The primary goal of performing CPR on a pregnant woman is to stabilize the mother, as this normally results in the best case scenario for the child. Can Pregnancy Cause Cardiac Arrest? Because the circulatory system of the mother and baby are conjoined during pregnancy, there is an increased need..


How To Spot The Symptoms Of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

senior citizen clutching at his chest because he is having cardiac arrest

Often confused with a heart attack, which occurs when blood flow to a portion of the heart is blocked, sudden cardiac arrest is the sudden, unexpected loss of heart function, breathing and consciousness caused by an electrical disturbance in your heart that disrupts its ability to pump, cutting off the blood flow to the rest of your body. There are more than 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests annually in the U.S. and nearly 90% of them fatal.   Recognising the symptoms of a sudden cardiac arrest and responding quickly with CPR can make a victim up to 40% more likely to..


Heart Attack Or Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

A senior male is having a sudden heart attack while his wife is in his embrace.

One in seven Americans has had some form of CPR training, and yet, of the approximately 350,000 people who suffered cardiac arrest outside of a hospital in 2016, less than half were lucky enough to receive CPR from a bystander, leaving them with just a 12% chance of survival.   A recent American Heart Association study into why so few people are willing to perform CPR identified a number of factors: risk aversion, an unwillingness to perform mouth to mouth, and worry about hurting the victim, but by far the most prevalent was a lack of confidence in their ability..


How CPR Was Invented

CPR training using an AED and bag mask

CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, has become an intrinsic part of our culture. Even those people who are not trained in it are usually aware of it and the basics of its method. It has also been featured on numerous T.V programs and in a variety of films. Part of the reason that CPR has had such an impact is that is works. You are up to 40% more likely to survive sudden heart failure if a bystander promptly starts performing CPR on you. It might be surprising then that the American Heart Association didn’t formally endorse CPR until 1963. In..


Five Common CPR Mistakes

A man who is receiving improper CPR.

Learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation is an excellent way to provide yourself with the skills needed to help in an emergency situation. 325,000 cases of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) are reported each year and if a trained individual is able to start performing CPR on an SCA victim immediately, the victim’s chances of survival increase by more than 40%.   Additionally, four out of every five heart attacks in the U.S. happen at home, meaning the person you are most likely to perform CPR on is someone important to you. While CPR courses, like the one we offer here at Northwest Community..