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Save A Life - First Aid and CPR Training Minneapolis Minnesota Call SAVE A LIFE Corporation at 763-576-8146  
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Mother bandaging young daughter

Frequently Asked Questions on Medical Emergency Help

Can I be held responsible if something bad happens to the person I'm helping?
This falls under the Good Samaritan Law that was passed in 1983 and upheld in all 50 states. The law states that a person offering aid must do so in a reasonable and prudent manner within that person's level of skill. Once a person has begun care, the law states that care must continue until other help of an equal or greater skill level is obtained or until the rescuer has reached a level of exhaustion that makes continuing impossible. A lay rescuer will be within the bounds of the law if the care offered is reasonable and prudent given the situation.

What if I don't remember what to do?
This is a common fear of newly trained people. SAVE A LIFE’s training is effective because our method of training increases the retention of the skills.

What do I need for an emergency first aid kit?
These items represent a typical first-aid kit that can help manage minor wounds and injuries that often occur in everyday life. Be sure to check this kit on a regular basis to replenish used items. The following items would complement the training you receive in a SAVE A LIFE First Aid training course.

  • Disposable gloves (Should be latex-free)
  • Disposable barrier for rescue breathing (CPR mask or shield)
  • Sterile dressings (4"x 4" and 5"x 9")
  • Roller bandages (3" and 4")
  • First aid shears (heavy-duty, angled scissors)
  • Tweezers
  • Adhesive tape (1")
  • Variety of adhesive bandages (small, large, extra-large, knuckles, fingertip)
  • Triangle bandage
  • Small bag or box to store and protect items from damage

You may also find the following items useful. These items have expiration dates and should be checked on a regular basis.

  • Antiseptic wipes to clean the wound
  • Antibiotic ointment to prevent wound infection
  • Sterile eye wash kit or sterile saline
  • Instant cold packs
  • Benadryl liquid and spray
  • Waterless hand cleaner
  • Anti-inflammatory pain relief medication (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.)
  • Burn gel for minor burns
  • Hydrocortisone ointment for skin inflammation

Is sudden cardiac arrest the same as a heart attack?
No. A heart attack occurs when a blood vessel feeding the heart itself is blocked by plaque or a blood clot. The longer the blood flow is interrupted the more extensive the damage done. The majority of heart attack victims survive the first attack. Treatment for heart attack includes angioplasty using a tiny balloon to widen blocked blood vessels and “clot-busting” drugs known as thrombolytic.
Sudden cardiac arrest involves problems with the heart’s electrical system, which can cause it to stop beating entirely. When that happens, blood flow to the rest of the body is interrupted, and the victim passes out. Defibrillation is the only known treatment for this condition, and AEDs are the quickest and most efficient way to reach individuals with this lifesaving therapy. Follow this link for more information on Cardiac Arrest and Stroke Warning Signs

Should a rescuer use an AED on a victim known to take nitroglycerin?
Yes. However, because there have been rare reports of skin burns when defibrillation was performed over a nitroglycerin skin patch, these should be removed and the skin area wiped clean before the AED electrode pad is attached. ALL MEDICATION PATCHES REGARDLESS OF WHAT THEY ARE SHOULD BE REMOVED.

Are the breaths in the CPR cycle effective when a victim was choking but has turned blue and is no longer responsive?
There is no scientific evidence that demonstrates the effectiveness of rescue breaths in an unconscious choking victim. However, chest thrusts have been shown to be 97% effective relieving an obstruction. The primary treatment goal when the airway is obstructed is to use chest compressions to dislodge the obstruction. At that point ventilations are probably ineffective. However, once the obstruction is relieved and the air passage cleared, effective rescue breaths can be given and if the foreign body is seen, it can be removed. Using the combination of compressions and ventilations in CPR provides a simple and convenient method of relieving the obstruction. So, although the breaths may be ineffective to start, the hope is that at some point during the care being provided, the airway opens and the breaths become beneficial.

How often should I update my skills?
Retraining requirements are from one to two years for CPR and every two years for First aid. For immediate recall we recommend retraining CPR every year.

What is certification?
The term ‘certification’ means that a qualified and authorized instructor has witnessed and verified that a participant has met the required knowledge and skill objectives of a course.

There are increasingly more stories in the media about people whose lives have been saved by someone trained in CPR and AED use. These saves occur in places such as sports arenas, health clubs, schools and universities, and many other locations—wherever people go about their everyday lives. Two studies reported in the October 2000 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine show that persons with minimal training can successfully use simple, portable defibrillation devices in public places to save lives that might otherwise be lost.

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