Follow beats, save lives

Education junior Jasmine Dominguez prepares to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on a mannequin by placing both hands one atop the other June 5 outside the Life Science Building.

Someone can collapse at any time without notice.

UTA and other organizations provide the tools needed to prevent this emergency from becoming fatal.

First aid is the initial step someone takes to help an injured or sick individual, said Dan Rosenthal, occupational safety and health administration outreach trainer. Rosenthal, a Health and Safety Institute master trainer emeritus, said one function of first aid is to inform people when to seek help, since many go untreated and worsen their ailments.

“When was the last time you called a doctor?” Rosenthal said.

People sometimes don’t like to see doctors, making their conditions worse, he said.

Part of first aid is prioritizing problems and treating the most threatening condition, Rosenthal said.

Nursing junior Susanna Case said she received first aid training from a firefighter as a requirement for her job as a nanny. She said the instructor’s experience led him to focus on a more immediate and direct approach, instead of taking the time to carefully determine exactly what’s wrong.

Case said she practiced CPR and the Heimlich maneuver on a training mannequin for her training. She said she hasn’t had to use her first aid training.

The first aid field is constantly evolving, Rosenthal said. First aid is like a science project with over 100,000 references, he said.

Since the 1970s, tourniquets stopped being used frequently and were rarely taught in classes, Rosenthal said. Tourniquets are medical devices used to cut the blood flow off from a limb because of a severe cut or, sometimes, a toxin like a snake bite.

Rosenthal said amputation was likely if the limb was cut off from circulation for an extended time period. However, with advances in vascular surgery, he said tourniquets are being taught again to save limbs.

Other advances in technology and knowledge include training on narcotic antidotes, online resources and automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, Rosenthal said. He said another is a robotic dummy, programmed to sit up and thank the caregiver after treatment. These dummies are available for about $20,000.

UTA offers first aid classes, including CPR and AED training, through the American Red Cross.

Most people who attend training need the certification for a job, said Stephanie McAlpine, campus recreation assistant director.

The training features lectures, videos and hands-on experiences with mannequins and mock AEDs, she said. Afterward, participants are given a written and hands-on test by the certified instructor.

McAlpine said it’s important to take the class in-person instead of online, because the instructor can ensure participants know how to properly perform techniques.

Rosenthal said in-person training also ensures the classes are uniform and up-to-date.

“I encourage everyone to take the time to get at least CPR training, because you never know what you’re going to come across,” Case said.


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