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Teaching Skills For Life
Teaching Skills To Save Lives
By Amanda Agbebi
By way of introduction – I am the Quality Assurance & Training Lead (Liability) with Somek & Associates, I am also a Nursing Expert Witness. This article however is completely different to either of these roles, it is about my venture in teaching lay people skills in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and defibrillation, when a person suffers a sudden cardiac arrest.
A cardiac arrest is when the heart stops, it can happen to anybody, anywhere. Without immediate action in the form of CPR and defibrillation the person will die.
In the UK there are over 30,000 cardiac arrests that occur outside of the hospital setting, i.e. out in the community. It is imperative that members of the public act immediately, by giving CPR and using a public access defibrillator, whilst waiting for the emergency services. This will give the person the best chance of survival.
Just to take you back to 2021:
For those of you who do not follow football, footballer Christian Eriksen suffered a sudden cardiac arrest whilst playing football for his country in the Euros, in June 2021. He was successfully resuscitated and returned to playing professional football in February 2022.
As events unfolded in June 2021, I asked my son (a footballer himself) who was 16yrs old at the time, whether he would know what to do if this happened to a teammate or anyone else. The answer, as expected, was no. It is this moment that started my journey into CPR and AED (automated external defibrillator) training to lay people in the community. This was part of my nursing role in the hospital setting so I had plenty of transferable skills!
I purchased a resuscitation mannequin, and one of the parents in my son’s football team became a sponsor so I was able to buy a second mannequin, and a training defibrillator. By the end of 2021 I was ready to start, and I set out on my quest. Since then, I have taught all ages of people, from a gentleman in his 70’s who played cricket for a veteran’s team, to an under 8’s football team (this was by far the most chaotic, but also great fun!). I have carried out sessions in various places including a football team changing room and a pub!!
I keep the groups fairly small, usually between four and ten people at a time, to ensure that everyone gets time to practice and ask questions. Attendees do CPR on the mannequins with real time feedback given via an app on my ipad. They also practice using the defibrillator – as it as a training device there is no electric current so perfectly safe! The feedback has been amazing from the attendees.
My mission is to provide hands on practical training to people in my local area, so as they feel confident in providing immediate assistance if they are in the unfortunate position of seeing someone suffering a cardiac arrest.
I also want to spread the word about the importance of learning these skills. My message to you, is to learn these skills. Hopefully you won’t ever need to use them, but if you do you will be giving someone the best chance of survival – it doesn’t get any better than that.