Red Cross training can help save lives

An Automated Electronic Defibrillator, or AED, and can be used to get a steady heart rhythm.
An Automated Electronic Defibrillator, or AED, and can be used to get a steady heart rhythm.

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Denise T. Green knows the importance of having people around who are trained in case of an emergency. She had a cardiac event, just before playing tennis in 2004.

"I didn't make it to the match. I was found down by the water fountain and was dead. I was actually blue in color," said Green.

She said health care personnel who happened to be there tried to revive her.

"They pulled me away from the water fountain and started performing CPR," added Green.

When that didn't work they used an Automated Electronic Defibrillator, or AED, and got a steady heart rhythm - quick action that saved her life.

As an instructor for the Red Cross, Cindy Adams makes certain her students know how to administer help.

"...And then you get down here and open their airway and check for breathing for no long than 10 seconds. And if there is no breathing, then, on an adult, you would start CPR right away. You place the hand in the center of the chest, about the nipple line," said Adams.

Although the count has changed several times, the recommendation now is 30 compressions to two breaths. The teaching mannequin has a series of lights which tell you if you're doing it right. The compressions should be about two inches deep to get blood and precious oxygen moving to other organs.

"If you take a class from the Red Cross, you're liable to get a little packet that contains a mouth guard that you can use. It also contains some vinyl gloves, and it's small enough to go inside a purse or wallet," said Adams.

"If the classes were not available and people were not trained, I wouldn't be here. That's the simple truth," Green said.

The American Red Cross has guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). This is a medical procedure used during an emergency. The procedure helps to restore heartbeat and breathing to normal for people suffering from conditions such as heart failure, breathing problems and drowning. CPR extends lives.

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