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Around Our Town: Wyoming Medical Center

Not certified in CPR? Get your free training today.

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08/01/2012 - By Mel Schwartz

Wyoming Medical Center Community Development

Most of us will never witness a cardiac emergency in our lifetime. With luck, we will never experience the fear of sitting next to someone who chokes on his or her food or goes into cardiac arrest. But if it happened right in front of you, would you know what to do?

Dialing 911 or calling for help is the first priority, and dispatch will walk you through the steps of assessing the situation until advanced medical care arrives. Part of this assessment often involves administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to give the victim a fighting chance for survival.

So, what is your CPR IQ? Did you know that you don't have to be a medical professional to become CPR certified? Did you know that learning CPR is easier than you might think?

Jack Moore, engineer with Casper Fire EMS and clinical educator at Wyoming Medical Center (WMC), says that learning CPR is a great way to make a big difference in your community.

"After just four to six hours you will be certified in CPR and learn life-saving techniques to assist adults, infants and children until emergency responders arrive," says Moore. "You may never have to use these skills, but if you do you will know how to handle the situation and possibly save the life of someone you love."

The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that CPR could save as many as 200,000 lives each year if initiated early enough. More than 12 million people become certified in CPR at AHA training centers and training sites around the nation, and WMC serves as one of these training sites.

There are two types of CPR classes offered at WMC: Heartsaver automated external defibrillator (AED) classes for the layperson such as a babysitter or daycare provider, and Basic Life Support classes for healthcare providers. Both classes are offered for free because of the partnership among WMC, Casper Fire EMS and the Blue Envelope Health Fund. Recertification is recommended every two years.

While training differs for each CPR class, both offer valuable techniques that have the potential to keep the victim alive until emergency medical services arrive.

"People may not appreciate the fact that they can make a difference by learning CPR," says Moore. "Spending a few hours to become certified is well worth it when you understand that CPR has the potential to increase the chance of survival in the event of a cardiac emergency."

Given that the majority of cardiac emergencies occur outside of a hospital, it stands to reason that if you know CPR, you might save a life someday. And what if it is someone you love? Knowing what to do because you have received CPR training may be the most important step you can take. Just in case.

For more information on CPR training and how you can register for classes at Wyoming Medical Center, please call 577-2456.

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