I went through my annual first aid and CPR training / recertification. This year we had all new material, books and a great DVD from the American Red Cross. I have to say that the new DVD is the best CPR/First Aid instructional video that I have ever seen. With the DVD features, you have a menu where you can go through all the different scenarios for giving first aid and CPR. I can’t say enough good things about it.
A lot has changed with first aid and CPR since I first took it years ago. During the summers when I was in college, I worked summers at a Boy Scout camp. I am an Eagle Scout, and during the summers at the camp, I probably helped out and instructed at just about every area of summer camp that you can think of. Knots, rifle, ecology, swimming, lifeguard, cooking, canoeing, camping and hiking, first aid, and many more.
The first aid we taught at summer camp 20 years ago has some things that have changed significantly since then, and the training that I went through this week showed me the differences. In essence, the Red Cross has simplified it a lot. Many of the changes I like.
For example: With a bleeding victim, they no longer worry about pressure points or elevating the area. Apparently doctors somewhere determined that these are not as critical as they used to think. They don't even mention pressure points in the instructional material. The important thing is to apply pressure directly onto the wounded area.
For someone having an epileptic seizure, just make sure there are no objects close by that they could injure themselves on. You no longer have to worry about sticking a wallet into their mouth.
For CPR, it is now 30 compressions and 2 breaths. If you are confused, take the new course and find out all about it. I am not going to explain it all; get your own instruction.
Overall, I can understand the changes and think they are good. Many things were simplified.
20 years ago, we looked at a reprint of the original 1910 Boy Scout handbook, to see what had changed over 75 years for first aid. It was a dramatic difference. This is pretty much the same thing. It has changed, but we think that it is for the better, and simplified things.
Click on this thumbnail to see a typical class for boys at summer camp in Florida.