Monday, July 19, 2010

first day, first aid

I'm not going to bother recapping the weekend because I'm lazy. So there! Average weekend, nothing out of the ordinary. I did some hanging, some downtowning, and some lunching.  Instead, let's start with the first day of the workweek.

Today was a special day at work; I was in training all day to become first aid certified. The first half of the day was spent on medical, injury, and environmental emergencies, and knowing how to handle such situations. They're all very basic, since we're obviously not trained medical professionals. It just allows us to do something at work for the few minutes before paramedics arrive, or to look for warning signs for things such as heart attacks and strokes.

The second half of the day was centered around administering CPR and properly using AEDs. A common misconception, and one that I actually held before the course, is that CPR is used to actually bring people back into consciousness. That is incorrect, and usually CPR doesn't "resuscitate" people as the name might suggest. We were told that typically, adults whose hearts stop beating are due to underlying reasons which simply pumping won't correct - they will need hospital intervention to get their heart jump-started. Instead, CPR is used to maintain blood flow to the vital organs - the heart and brain, especially - to keep them oxygenated. By using compressions on their chest, you act as their heart and circulate their blood for them, giving them the extra minutes needed before the EMT arrives with better equipment. Ventilation (through breathing into their mouth) isn't entirely necessary these days, although it does help to provide additional oxygen, especially when CPR is being administered over several minutes. However, they recommend that if we ever have to give CPR to a stranger we don't know, to do compression-only CPR and not risk mouth-to-mouth contact. They say that giving compressions is better than not doing anything at all, which is understandable. Now, there are instances where CPR can actually bring people back around, but those cases are rare, such as children who were drowning. In a case such as that, the heart was perfectly fine and only stopped beating because of lack of oxygen.  By giving CPR, you are re-establishing oxygen to the heart and it will return beating as normal.

AEDs on the other hand are used to send electrical shocks to the heart, to correct very specific heart conditions. They are almost completely automated, and are virtually dummy-proof. You turn it on, and it will tell you audibly to place the pads on their chest and to plug in the pads. Then it will analyze their heart, and determine if a shock is needed. If so, it will recommend a shock and charge itself. Once everyone is cleared, you push a button and it sends the shock. You administer CPR as normal and it will analyze and shock if necessary every 2 minutes.

CPR is intended to be given until trained professionals arrive. Since patients don't typically revive, you can be giving CPR continuously for upwards of 10-15 minutes until the paramedics are ready to take over. I was pretty tired after just 2-3 minutes of CPR. Tough stuff.

In completely unrelated news, many months ago Taylor and I completed a little mashup for fun. In case you're too lazy to click the link and read about mashups, I will briefly explain it for you. A mashup is a song that is made up of segments and snippets of a ton of different songs. Basically, we took vocals from some songs, and put it on top of music from other songs, and put them all together for about 5 minutes. In case you're interested, here it is (it's a bit soft so you might have to turn up your speakers). As a warning, you should know that there are rap songs in this mashup and thus the language is not safe for work or prudes. I think we're going to work on a new one soon.

Okay, I just hyped you up to listen to that mashup, right? Well it wasn't as easy as I was hoping to post it, so I will work on it and put it on a future entry. I didn't want to delete everything I wrote above, so instead I just teased you. I apologize.

Finally, a lot of my time the past week has been spent practicing piano and reading, neither of which I regularly do. I'm proud of myself for working on both of those. However it has come at a cost, because I haven't played much bass in the last few weeks. That's okay though, it will always be there for me when I'm ready.