“Over-inflating Annie” – not after our C P R training

November 7, 2016

WIW recently provided a free CPR Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation training session for members based on the theme: “don’t just stand there” we wanted to highlight the need to do something in a crisis and not to wait for someone else to take action and help a patient. 

Andrew Barlow from the East of England Ambulance Service lead the morning training session explaining the need to be able to provide CPR. The Defibrillators (Defib) that we have on the Witham industrial estates (8) and those that are now more visible in sports centres, by Co-op stores and in town centres are vital pieces of equipment but in a crisis someone needs to follow the successful use of the defib with CPR. 

30 simple compressions on the centre of the chest followed by two breaths can help to keep the patient alive until the emergency services arrive.  “Staying Alive” is a well-known song that gives us the speed and rhythm we needed to ensure we are helping the patient. 

You often learn more by getting things wrong in training and having administered 30 compressions to Annie (the training dummy) I sat up and took a huge breath so I could inhale it into Annie’s chest. Then back to 30 compressions to the centre of her chest.  Later Andrew explained the unpleasant consequences of trying to over fill a patient’s chest with my breath – I won’t forget his warning. 

Taking part in Defib and CPR training ensures everyone gains in confidence so that they feel able to deal with a crisis.  A week after the CPR training I was with a colleague who had extremely bad chest pains which he, having more first aid experience than me, diagnosed as acute indigestion.   In the few seconds and then minutes that followed some of my CPR tutor’s words provided me with more confidence to think of practical issues: was the phone charged, could I get my colleague on the floor easily, was he hot and sweaty, in a strange venue who would assist, did they have a Defib? adrenalin kicks and the recollection of training was reassuring.

Thankfully the Defib and the CPR training wasn’t needed;  his pain subsided, the skin dried and we both breathed a sigh of relief; however two weeks later I still feel I should have insisted we sort medical advice.  I could have rung 111 and understand why people are reluctant to dial 999.  We all survived but that training given on the Witham Industrial Estate was not used in Witham it was in a small village in Norfolk; you never know when you may need to move and “don’t just stand there”.