Locking Lips for Life

The Kiss of Life.
I came home from class last night and my lips were swollen and they hurt a bit.  Checking the mirror I noticed that indeed my lips were swollen and I had the added bonus of bruising.  Great, that’s going to look good for the next few days.  More bruising had shown up this morning and I contemplated the reality that this was the best lip action I’d had in a very long time.  Feeling a bit pathetic and distraught I thought-- Bummer.  That’s a real shame.  Then my reality chip kicked in and I remembered why my lips were actually worked out in the first place. 

There is lip service & then there is lip service!
I hadn’t had an updated CPR/AED/First Aid certification in a while and I knew some things had changed and I like to be prepared.  I had crammed that evening class into my busy schedule at 4hrs a shot, over 2 classes, in 2 weeks, so that I could be better prepared in an emergency.  I’d done it so I could save a life if needed, not worry about some bruising and silly thoughts people (including myself) might indulge regarding my previous evenings activities.

This is not a normal motorcycle article, but I think it’s important and still applies, so hang with me for a few minutes. Having just successfully completed my course, its lingering effects still resting a bit heavily upon my lips, I wanted to share some statistics and information with you.  Maybe you’ll even decide that your lips also need a good workout.

A kiss can be love & life!
There are "life lessons" and then there are "life skills".  We're talking about learning some life skills now, so you will not learn really bad life lessons.  Some of the vital skills you should  know, that you will learn in class, are rescue breaths, rescue breathing, CPR, AED Defibrillator use, choking (not how to- how to fix!), and first aid goodies like how to take care of cuts, burns, breaks, and other emergencies.  If you are thinking “gosh, that’s a lot of work to know how to save some random person having a bad day”, well, you would be wrong.  One of the statistics that is not always listed, but is very real is – the odds of you using your training to save some random person? Very slim; the odds of you using your training to help or save your family and friends? Probably close to 100%!  

Here is where the motorcycle bit comes in also… Who are you most likely to be riding with?  Yep, your family and friends.  How would you feel if you could help them?  Is 1-30 minutes of possible action worth 8-12 hours of training time (with some additional time to keep updated every year)?  How would you feel if you couldn’t do anything but watch?

A Little History:
  • Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation goes back to 1740 when the Paris Academy of Sciences officially recommended it for drowning victims. H2
  • Dr. Friedrich Maass performed the first equivocally documented chest compression in humans in 1891. H2
  • The world's first mass citizen CPR training wasn’t until 1972, when Leonard Cobb held one in Seattle, Washington.  It was called Medic 2 and he helped train over 100,000 people the first two years of the programs. H2
  • Operated assisted CPR became a standard 911/dispatcher practice in 1981. H2

Now for some statistics:
  • Less than eight percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive. H1
  • Less than one-third of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR. H1
  • Effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest, can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival. H1
  • About 5,900 children 18 years old and under suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year from all causes – including trauma, cardiovascular causes and sudden infant death syndrome. H1
  • At least one child dies from choking on food every five days in the U.S., and more than 10,000 children are taken to a hospital emergency room each year for food-choking injuries. (according to the NYS Department of Health) BE
  • Accidental injuries, including choking and drowning, are the leading cause of death in children and send over 16 million kids a year to the emergency room. BE
  • Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) kills over 900 adults each day in the USA. That is about 335,000 of the 550,000 annual deaths from coronary heart disease. CD
  • Around 75% of cardiac arrests happen in people's homes so you will probably perform CPR on a family member or friend. CD
  • There is yet to be a documented case of HIV being transmitted due to performing CPR. CD, BE

Do you ever wonder if having those small AED boxes at work, school, or church matter (or are worth the $1000-$5000)?  

Here are a couple of statistics from our Red Cross First aid book and our teacher:
  • For every second that AED is delayed in a cardiac arrhythmia emergency the patient’s chances of survival are reduced by about 10%.  So, if it takes you five minutes to get and use the AED, you’ve already reduced your patient’s chance of survival by 50%.  Wow!  Does that give you the chills?  It gave them to me. 
  • AED use has upped cardiac emergency survival by about 70%.  Again- Wow, worth it!

See how fast “it” can happen and how effective AED is…. for a 12 year old girl!

Are you concerned or even pumped up now?  
Good.  Here’s what to do about it.

Go forth.  Get swollen lips the hard way and be proud of your bruising.  Lock lips for life!

Outside of the United States?
You can still check for the Red Cross, they operate in many parts of the world.  You can do online training with them and many others, but if at all possible, find a place where you can get hands on experience.  It is always best.

Informational Links from above:
H1 American Heart Association statistics 
H2 American Heart Association CPR history 
BE B.E.CPR statistics 
CD CPR Dude statistics 
    American Red Cross

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