It is summertime, and people are heading to the beach. But in the heat of the moment, not everyone knows what to do if they come across a person who needs CPR. The beach, sea, and waves is relaxing. But Red Cross First Aid and Aquatics Programme Instructor Peter Hughes says the problem is that people may be too relaxed when they should be on alert.
“You could be looking for someone who is overexposed to the sun. Who has changes in levels of consciousness which may indicate heat stroke or exhaustion. You’re looking for someone in the water. These are things that all members of the public is capable of doing,” said Mr. Hughes. He says that at the very least, people should carry a simple CPR pouch when going to the beach.
“Carrying a simple CPR pouch can help you deal with many first aid issues. The pouch includes gloves, a breathing barrier, and band-aids,” said Mr. Hughes.
If you come across someone lying down, he says, don’t necessarily dismiss them as being simply lounging around. “Check to see if they are breathing. If they aren’t, move on to the next step,” said Mr. Hughes. Response speed is vital to CPR. “Our training is all about recognizing whether they need that care or not. Recognize if they have breathing or movement. And moving them to cardiac care as soon as possible,” said Mr.Hughes.
Whoever provides CPR should be trained and mentally prepared to provide care. “You know if you’re not sure what you are doing or are not trained for a specific situation. You can always call 9-1-1,” said Mr. Hughes. Cayman Islands Red Cross offers a variety of those CPR and emergency lifesaving classes.