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  • Elisabeth Fairbairn

What will you do this year?

Our preconception of having a baby starts with the magical journey we want to experience from their arrival. Often, our experience starts when we take our new born baby home and then, reality sets in - "oh my goodness, I have a new born baby!" Some of us explore sudden emotional fears that lead us to stock up on so many things including our new-bound journey with our baby. This is no bad thing, this step of courage is our start to being a parent.


As a new parent, we focus on all the positives - but let me take you on a "what if" scenario. Our biggest fear as a parent, that one event we seemingly cannot control - cardiac arrest.

There are many ways to prepare for the various troubles and traumas that can come our way - but I want you to focus on one of the things that you can be prepared for - CPR, or basic life support.


Let's talk about an essential skill - CPR

CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation or, think of the skill as basic life support; because that is exactly what you are doing. CPR is a procedure that supports someone's life whilst awaiting for the Ambulance/Paramedics to arrive.

Basic life support courses generally cover what to do in an emergency - from identifying the emergency (breathing), getting help (who to call) and what to do next (the skill of CPR). Sure, you can always Youtube it, but this is not quite the same as being taught and practising the skill. Would you really watch a short video on how to save someone's life?

There is NO comparison to real hands on practical experience of learning CPR - Basic life support skills.


Can I get CPR trained?

When it comes to finding an appropriate training course there are various providers near you and you certainly have your options. Consider the following:


Equipment Used - Some providers use technical manakins connected to a PC, some use very basic ones and of course there are all sorts of in-between mannekin. For a very basic life support course, you don't need to be paying over the odds to go somewhere with an all singing and dancing mannekin (well, if the mannekin dances, you're in the wrong course) but equally, you will want to come out of the course knowing how to conduct CPR correctly, and feeling competent in administering CPR.

I personally recommend a good value course with an appropriate aide that gives you a responsive feedback to your input (compression skills). The responsive aides usually show lights in various colours to tell you how well you are doing, and your trainer can then guide you on how to improve your technique.


Attendance - Book with a friend or someone you know if you find it uncomfortable or if you are nervous about attending sessions by yourself. Choose a smallish sized group - anything around 6-8 would be a reasonable sized course. You won't want to just be able to say you attended a course, but you want to gain a skill for your own development and to make a real difference should it ever be needed. So you need to have that interactive, and personal input from the trainer, so you feel confident in your new-found skills.


Experience - My final note would be to check their background. Astoundingly, basic life courses are not regulated. Therefore you don't know the value of the course you are getting. Choose someone who knows what they are doing by personal experience, who has or is working in healthcare and has had further advanced training than just the basics.


Of course, the hardest part of doing a course is the same as anything on your future "must do" list......and that's actually booking onto a course! It happens to be one of those things we "mean" to do , but never quite get round to doing. So take the impetus that got you through this blog, and book onto our CPR training course now.


At Cotton Family, we offer small group sessions. I am a CPR trained instructor (read my BIO here), so rest assured I can provide you an in depth, friendly experience you will feel proud of.



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