Friday, March 25, 2011

Life Happens, Learn CPR

You enter your favorite French bistro with your friends on a Saturday night and are quickly seated at a quaint table right next to a window with a fabulous view of Chicago nightlife. Your waitress pours you a glass of water and gives you a few minutes to look at the menu while she runs to the back room to find your group a bottle of wine. Your best friend cracks a joke about the man across the room that looks like George Clooney and everyone at the table bursts out laughing. All of sudden, a man at the table next to yours collapses head first into his walnut salad. Everyone in the restaurant realizes that the man needs help but no one is trained in CPR. Your table watches in horror, unable to assist in anyway but to flag down a waiter and call 9-1-1. Later, you learn that the man did not survive.

Many may think that the probability of something like this occurring is relatively unlikely, but it was a reality for Nicholas Swain. While catering an event, a man collapsed and died before the ambulance was able to get to the location which was only a couple of blocks away from a hospital. Nicholas and his coworkers from Blue Plate, a catering company, decided to take the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago CPR course to be prepared for this type of incident.

CPR and First Aid are life saving skills that everyone young or old should have, because emergency incidents can occur at any time. On March 19th the Red Cross’s Save-A-Life event offered free CPR and First Aid classes throughout the nation. The event was in honor of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords who was shot in the head during a congressional rally in Tucson, Arizona. After the initial hit, her intern Daniel Hernandez provided first aid assistance and saved her life.

On Save-A-Life Saturday more than 11,000 individuals were trained. Like Nicholas and his colleagues, they also realized the importance of being prepared.

Nicholas and the catering staff come into contact with a variety of people and the probability of an incident where the use of CPR for emergency assistance is high. When working in the hospitality industry being able to perform CPR and the Heimlich maneuver can safe a life. According to a report conducted by the Center for Disease Control in the U.S. 60% of choking in children ages 0-14 was related to food. Food related choking incidents can occur anywhere from the home to a restaurant. It is important for restaurant, catering, and other hospitality industry staff to be able to perform procedures such as the Heimlich to prevent choking.

Being prepared can save lives, whether it is from learning how to prevent a fire to rescue support through CPR, the key is to be prepared. We encourage everyone to take a CPR class and to visit the prepared section on our website .

Take action and learn CPR like Nicholas, his co-workers at Blue Plate, and the 11,000people who dedicated their time on Save-A-Life Saturday. Next time a person starts choking or collapses it may be up to you to save their life. Be ready. Be prepared.

Written By: Lauren Snyder and Erica Serna

1 comment:

American Red Cross Lower Bucks County Chapter said...

This is a wonderful article and very well-written. Thanks for sharing!

Your friends at
American Red Cross Lower Bucks County Chapter