Swords Orthodontics
17 Main St, Swords, Co Dublin, Ireland

Stand Clear! CPR training at Swords Orthodontics

Perhaps the person you save is the person you love.

(How an extraordinary day's education at Swords Orthodontics was put into real-life perspective within a few hours.)

People may need CPR outside a hospital, when there's no doctor or ambulance. Swords Orthodontics is ready, are you?

So yesterday at Swords Orthodontics was a full day at work, but there were no patients scheduled. (I still saw a patient - he had a sports injury with damage to his orthodontics brace and needed attention, so he had one of our early morning appointments.)

The rest of the day was exclusively for medical emergency training, specifically the Basic Life Support for Health Care Professionals. This was given by an exceptionally good trainer, Willie, a paramedic with the Swords Ambulance team. In addition to training on life support skills, and his own day job as a paramedic with the ambulance service, he's also trained to abseil out of helicopters onto ships far out to sea to deal with life threatening emergencies on board. It's a million miles away from braces and orthodontics, but fascinating stuff.

The day was the most intense CPR training I'd ever done, and I have been re-training at this every so often for about 25 years now.  I thought one of my staff had a rash on her hand from an insect sting until I saw the same on my own wrist - our hands were red from clasping in the classic CPR grip and delivering cardiac compressions at 100bpm again and again through the day. We practised ventilating the patients with bags and air way masks and everyone had to do a practical and a written test.

The written test had a pass mark of 84%. I wasn't just delighted that we all passed, I was so proud of all the team. Once we'd satisfied the instructor on our practical skills we signed off for our certificates, said our goodbyes and headed home.

...and that's where it got interesting, and where it got relevant. I was having a meal that night with a few family members and the topic of first aid came up in conversation at the dinner table. A relative of minementioned her experience with CPR and I realised she wasn't talking about a course that she had done, because although I'd worked in hospitals and health care settings for over 20 years, she was the only one there that night who had done CPR for real.

She had to perform CPR on her own mother, receiving instructions down the phone after she'd dialled the emergency services. And until they arrived, it was all up to her, because she was the only person present who was able to make a difference.

So although we see shows on TV where hospital staff work do life saving resuscitations, that's part of their job and their entire environment is set up to facilitate this. Sometimes you hear stories of bystanders attending to road accidents and people collapsing at football games and rock concerts, but on the law of probabilities, if someone is ever likely to need CPR yourself, the ideal person to provide it will be the friend or relative who is beside them at the time. And if that person is you, you don't want to be learning how to do it over the phone while you try to save your friend's life.

Swords Orthodontics is ready to help people in an emergency. Are you?

So get trained in CPR. Now!

Blog Tags