We tend to ignore the importance of acquiring certain knowledge until we are faced with an urgent necessity to use such knowledge. There is no better example in the worst setting of a life threatening emergency where someone close to your heart is involved. We fear the incidence of such events and when they do unfortunately happen, we find ourselves in a situation where we would do absolutely anything to help or save the life of our dear one.
It is true, however, that good intentions are never enough to save a life. Lack of knowledge in addressing such emergencies could cost dear to your loved ones and more often than not it is only then that we realise the importance of acquiring skills in life saving techniques. What if you didn’t know how to help the person and emergency help was not arriving fast enough? At this point you realize the need for being skilled in life saving techniques.
The definition of Basic Life Support (BLS) includes the assistance which medical professionals provide to persons suffering from obstructed airways, respiratory problems or cardiac arrest. To provide such assistance, these professionals require knowledge of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), knowledge about using an Automated Defibrillator (AED) and methods of airway obstruction relief.
When health emergencies aforementioned occur, lives are sometimes lost due to the inability of bystanders to respond or to respond in a correct manner. In such circumstances, this lack of knowledge instils a certain fear in the bystanders who know that meddling without possessing the necessary skills could lead to further harm.
The recently promulgated Good Samaritan Act (ACT No. XXIX of 2020), has addressed the problem of bystanders choosing not to give first assistance for fear of making themselves liable under criminal and civil law where their intervention actually worsens the condition of the victim or causes material damage to the victim’s property or belongings. This Act amends the Criminal Code in the sense that ‘a person will not be criminally liable if, confronted with a present or imminent danger to another person, he performs an act necessary to ensure the safety of that person, whether or not the act actually ensures the safety of the person’.
In similar and parallel fashion,the Civil Code has been amended in the sense that ‘any person who causes damages in the performance of a rescue or in the course of assisting another person whose life or personal safety is in clear danger, shall not be liable for any damage caused in the course of the rescue or of giving assistance to the person who he rescued or assisted or tried to rescue or assist, to that person’s property or to third parties or third party property’.
This Act therefore encourages intervention by bystanders to assist the victims in an emergency and therefore gives more importance to learning BSL skills.
The acquisition of Basic Life Support Knowledge also creates more awareness about leading a healthier life and therefore the benefits of grasping life saving skills personally benefit the individual’s life habits and many times spill out to those around the individual.
One major advantage acquired by attending and completing BLS courses is obtaining the ability to recognise victims of a health emergency at stage early enough to provide time for life saving procedures. Logically, chances of survival of the victim are enhanced when more time for action is available and when less time is spent without blood and oxygen circulation, as explained below. The attendees of such courses are also trained to recognise early signs of cardiac arrest, choking and other symptoms, while learning how to provide the right immediate help appropriately. .
Training in Performing CPR
One important segment of BLS training is to provide the learner with skills relating to performing CPR. CPR is a crucial lifesaving technique both in hospitals and in our case on site. The success rate of CPR heavily relies on making the most of the time at hand and therefore the learner must be trained to provide CPR within the shortest time possible. This is because when a victim is in need of CPR, he or she stops breathing and the heart stops pumping blood. Shortage of oxygen in the body is fatal because the brain demands constant supply of oxygen and we all know that the brain controls the functioning of all the other body organs. If the brain ceases to receive the oxygen it needs to operate, this could result in permanent brain damage and death.
The scope of CPR is to ensure a constant supply of blood circulation. This is why it involves applying pressure on the heart in order to simulate an artificial heartbeat. In this way, compression of the heart provides the necessary pressure to facilitate blood flow to the rest of the victim’s body. Blood contained in the human body contains enough oxygen to sustain the brain for a few minutes. These few minutes could be crucial while waiting for paramedics.
One must bear in mind that cardiac arrest is not exclusive to persons with a history of cardiac health problems and these incidents are a common occurrence. This further enhances the need to have more and more persons possessing CPR performance knowledge in the quest to save more precious lives.
Responding to Choking and Airway Obstruction
One of the most common incidents where BLS is needed is for choking. Choking is very common, especially in children and the elderly. Choking may take two forms – partial or complete obstruction of the airway. Complete obstruction may be fatal. BLS Certification and CPR Certification cover methods to deal with such situations. CPR skills come especially helpful when dealing with the inability of clearing obstructing object from the airway.
AED skills training
In latter times, availability of Automated Defibrillators in public places and even private organisations has been on the increase. However, when compared to persons trained to deliver CPR, the ones trained to use an AED are a small minority. This skill is also included in our Basic Life Support Training.
An AED is an essential tool when reviving the heart of a cardiac arrest victim. This is achieved by delivering an electric shock to the heart muscles in order to restore the heart’s electrical function.
The availability of the AED makes it possible for cardiac arrest victims to receive the help they need. However, it is not enough to have AED as it needs to be operated by a person skilled in using the device. The use of the device is quite straightforward as it is usually self-guided with audio-visual prompts.
BLS enhances opportunities for the individual
Any place of work and employer considers a person with different first aid certifications as an asset to the organisation. Such persons provide better peace of mind and allow the organisation to enhance their health and safety statuses.
Even if the word ‘Basic’ is included in BLS training, it should be noted that even medical professionals need to keep their certification updated about these skills. Research and technology are dynamic and in constant change. It is essential for these professionals to be well acquainted with new methods and equipment.
Peace of Mind
When an organisation has persons with BLS certification within its ranks, their presence establishes a further sense of security in their work colleagues. Unfortunately, accidents and health emergency incidents do happen and they happen when least expected. The possibility of such incidents are always the cause for thought and concern in all organisations. By obtaining BLS certification, a very important step in the direction of prevention and emergency preparation is achieved. While being trained for BLS, the person following the training also learns about causes which lead to such emergencies and in most cases, learns how to live a better and healthier life as a result. As mentioned before, this knowledge spills out to family members and colleagues.
21 Academy is fully aware of the importance of BLS training. For this reason this training programme for employees has been added to our In-House Training Programme. We highly recommend that our clients invest in this kind of training which will offer better peace of mind and a safer work environment. Lives are precious and we all have a human duty to preserve them as much as possible. Contact us for more details.