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Take precautions when providing First Aid care to people with suspected COVID-19

As a Good Samaritan, you may have already completed a basic first aid training course. In the panic of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to keep in touch with news about the disease and any CDC updates. Most importantly, healthcare providers, medical personnel, clinics, and hospitals need to stay on top of pandemic preparedness and infection prevention protocols.

Here are some resources for healthcare / medical personnel in regards to COVID-19:

  • More pandemic resources can be found here.

When providing First Aid:

  • Those who provide direct care for someone who may have COVID-19 should wear respiratory protection/masks (i.e., N-95 mask), disposable gloves, and eye mask. CDC guidance allows provides info on alternatives to respirators where there is a shortage of respirators.
  • Post care, providers of first aid should perform hand hygiene as they would normally do, discard personal protective equipment (PPE), and disinfect items that the patient may have touched.
Corona Virus Prevention

For Medical Personnel:

Providers with contact with persons known or suspected to have COVID-19 should monitor themselves for symptoms. These may include fever, runny nose, cough, and/or shortness of breath. If these symptoms occur, they should self-isolate for 14 days and contact their healthcare provider or healthcare facility.

Additional information about the coronavirus can be found on the CDC website on https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html.

 


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The term arrest can be used to describe a failure of the blood circulatory system or the heart. There is a wide difference between cardiac arrest and respiratory arrest. Sometimes the respiratory arrest is termed as a pulmonary arrest. Many times, this causes more confusion. This is mostly used when referring to first aid and CPR certification online as a treatment for cardiopulmonary arrest.

Difference between Cardiac and Respiratory Arrest

The difference between cardiac arrest and respiratory arrest can simply be brought about by a pulse. The normal breathing is affected during a respiratory or pulmonary arrest. While in a cardiac arrest the normal flow of blood in parts of the body stops. Cardiac arrest is the state where the heart stops beating since blood flow is less detected. Although, the heart might still be trying to pump blood to other body parts.

How to Differentiate?

Both cardiac arrest and respiratory arrest cause unconsciousness and a lack of breathing. However, in the case of a respiratory arrest, the patient’s heart is still beating and pumping blood to other body parts. While in a cardiac arrest the heart stops beating. In other words, blood is not pumped around the body. Rescuers feel for a pulse if he lacks modernized equipment to test if the heart is pumping. A pulse is an outward assessment of the arteries to confirm if blood is flowing.

Feeling the pulse is not the perfect method for determining a heartbeat but it helps where proper equipment is unavailable. Many times, rescuers spend more time checking for a pulse when the victim does not show signs of one. According to CPR training, a cardiac arrest and a respiratory arrest should be treated the same way. Call emergency helplines, and begin chest compressions and rescue breaths.

Respiratory Arrest Causes Cardiac Arrest

The two conditions are linked as respiratory arrest will definitely lead to a cardiac arrest if there is no one to treat it. When a person has a respiratory arrest-

  1. Carbon dioxide in the bloodstream is not fully removed hence causing a pileup of carbonic acid. The carbonic acid in excess affects the heart and the brain.
  2. With the piling up of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream, the level of oxygen consequently goes down. Insufficient oxygen in the blood leads to heart and brain problems.

Without necessary treatment and care, respiratory arrest leads to cardiac arrest.

Cardiac Arrest in Brief

Cardiac arrest is when the heart is not pumping blood to other body parts. During a cardiac arrest, the heart might either be beating or not beating. But in both circumstances, blood is not moving to body parts. The brain cannot function without a sufficient supply of blood. To keep the brain cells alive, a constant supply of blood rich in oxygen is required. The brain shuts as soon as the blood supply stops. Rescuers should have first aid and CPR certification online in order to provide effective help during an emergency.


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We do not know what will happen in the next few hours as we mundanely live our lives. Most of the time, our day ends normally and we sleep peacefully. However, there are chances of going into an emergency situation, such as a blocked airway, that can jeopardize our lives. And, it is in these situations that a CPR online certification can prove to be really important.

If we are all well-trained in dealing with emergency situations, we can save lives. Below are just a few of the most common emergency situations that we may experience first-hand whether it is our loved ones or someone close by.

Problems in Breathing

Breathing problems may be a result of a variety of causes. They may be suffering from a stroke, a heart attack, or a serious injury that leads to a severe block in the air passageways.

The Signs of a Blocked Airway

  • Breathing becomes uncomfortable and hard to do. Additionally, it may become a lot faster or slower
  • There is a presence of a weak cough
  • Noise is heard with breathing
  • The patient loses the ability to speak

Asthma

Asthma is the most common situation that makes patients experience breathing problems. Most people with asthma are well-aware of their condition so they always have an inhaler with them all the time. At times, their asthma attack may be really severe that they would need another person to facilitate and help them with the inhaler.

Here are the things you need to do when someone close by is having an asthma attack:

  • Observe the surroundings to ensure there is no hazard
  • Confirm if the patient needs help with the inhaler
  • If the inhaler is not available, immediately call for medical help through EMS
  • You can also ask bystanders to do the call for you when you are attending to the patient
  • Never leave the patient until medical help arrives
  • When the patient becomes unconscious, start CPR

Choking

Choking is another medical emergency that affects the breathing of a person. In fact, it can cause a more severe obstruction of the airways, making it more difficult to breathe. In the worst-case scenario, a patient may have a completely blocked airway and will need to have immediate care administered as soon as possible.

Note that the standard sign, if you are choking, is to hold your throat with two hands. Educate your family and friends so they can ask for help as choking takes away your ability to speak.

What to Do

  • When the patient is still responsive, do the Heimlich Maneuver
  • When they start to become unresponsive, immediately ask for medical help by calling EMS yourself or asking a bystander to do it
  • At the same time, you should also be doing CPR at this point. Continue performing CPR until the right medical professionals arrive.
  • If the patient is pregnant, never do the Heimlich Maneuver with them from the back. Instead, as you have learned from a CPR online certification course, have them lay down with their back flat on the floor and start doing careful abdominal thrusts.

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When an individual takes a First Aid course and passes the training and quiz, he or she will likely obtain a First Aid Certification. This certification serves as an official document that verifies the achievement of the holder whereas he or she is proven to have enough knowledge and skills of the lifesaving method 

 

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When it comes to people who are trying to apply for work in the medical field, First Aid certifications are one of the job requirements that employers will look for since the utmost priority is to save the lives of their patients. Medical assistants need to be certified in First Aid to help those in need.  

These certifications also put people in other work environments at a great advantage. They will be treated as valuable to the company because of the knowledge and skills that they have. They can also teach workmates about the basics of First Aid and how to respond to an emergency in case something happens. Receiving an online First Aid Certification is simple and convenient.

First Aid is defined as the medical attention that is given to an ill or injured person before medical experts arrive on the scene. OSHA details First Aid care to include cleaning minor cuts and scratches, treating burns, helping to relieve heat stress, and more. This course follows the updated, Nationally Accepted guidelines and is designed to provide you with basic First Aid skills that will allow you to make a sound decision in the face of an emergency.

The Aid is used any time there is an injury or emergency situation that requires treatment and the medical assistants have not arrived. In some cases, the situation and resulting first aid may be minor. In other cases, it may be an emergency that could save a life, such as performing CPR. You should only administer first aid in more severe cases if you are trained to do so.

American Health Care Academy’s First Aid course includes detailed training with videos and examples followed by a quiz. Upon completion and a passing score, a First Aid Certification will be obtained. The certificate will include the student’s name and the name of the course completed. Get started with your First Aid training today.


American Health Care Academy provides training for CPR certification online, AED training and Standard First Aid for lay-responders and Healthcare Providers.

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