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BLS Class, Nashville – Managing Respiratory Arrest

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The statistics surrounding heart disease are alarming, however, looking at the statistics of people who suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (chronic bronchitis and emphysema), Sleep Apnea, and asthma is just as scary. In 2007 there were 13.1 million Americans who had been diagnosed with COPD. In 2010 the money spent on medical care and expenses for those suffering from COPD was around 49.9 billion dollars. COPD is currently the third leading cause of death according to the Centers for Health and Disease.

Healthcare providers and those involved in the care of someone who suffers from COPD or a respiratory disease must know exactly how to help if the victim’s condition becomes unstable. Sometimes when healthcare providers, nursing students, and medical students think of the American Heart Association BLS class their focus tends to be on cardiac arrest. However, in every BLS class healthcare professionals and students learn how to rescue a victim in respiratory arrest. Knowing how to care for and treat a person in respiratory arrest is a critical part of being a basic life support healthcare provider.

Learning how to properly open a victim’s airway and deliver breaths with various types of airway equipment takes practice. CPR Nashville takes a hands-on approach during the first-time BLS class for healthcare providers to ensure students are comfortable with all assisted airway devices. For example, using a bag-valve-mask (BVM) to deliver rescue breaths to a victim either in respiratory distress or arrest can be a challenging skill to master. When just thinking about it, it sounds simple. But, when a first time BLS student first tries to hold the BVM and achieve an air-tight seal to deliver rescue breaths the difficulty is revealed. CPR Nashville instructors keep first-time BLS classes small in order to help each student learn airway skills while remaining relaxed. By the end of the class students not only know how to properly use the BVM but they also know how to use the pocket mask and deliver rescue breaths to a friend or loved one when there is no airway equipment available.

In addition to learning how to use the different airway equipment used in respiratory and cardiac arrest, students learn how long to deliver a breath and how frequently to deliver breaths. There is a special way to deliver breaths that is crucial in rescuing a victim. A rescuer does not want to blow too hard when delivering rescue breaths using a pocket mask or squeeze too hard when using the BVM. Blowing or squeezing too hard could increase intrathoracic pressure or increase intraabdominal pressure. Too much air in the victim’s belly could induce an episode of emesis in which the victim could aspirate gastric contents into their lungs.

It is also important to know how often to deliver rescue breaths. In an adult victim breaths should be delivered once every five to six seconds. However, if the adult victim is intubated with an artificial airway in place the breaths should be one every six to eight seconds. The frequency of breaths changes quite a bit for children and infants. When an infant or child is in respiratory distress or arrest the breaths should be delivered once every three to five seconds.

There is so much to learn when becoming a BLS healthcare provider and everything learned is important. CPR Nashville wants students to leave class feeling excited about the ability to play a role in rescue efforts for a victim in distress.  You can feel confident that when you sign up for a BLS class with them their instructors will help you every step of the way until you pass! Don’t wait to sign up for your healthcare provider bls class.

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