As a fitness trainer, I know how dangerous the weight room can be. What is less obvious as the dangers surrounding weightlifters, is what to do when a frightening situation occurs.
I am a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the American Fitness Professionals Association (AFPA), and the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). One of the most under-looked subjects by trainers and organizations is CPR and First Aid. Now, of course, in order to take most personal training examinations, you must hold a current CPR and First Aid card, but in my personal opinion, there should be a little more focus on this inside the personal training manual for specific first aid injuries.
Every personal trainer should know CPR and basic first aid techniques; the problem is not all of them do. For those who may have forgotten the guidelines for CPR, I am going to write a little bit about them in this article, because not only should trainers know CPR, everyone inside the fitness center should, even the client!
The guidelines for compressions and rescue breaths are now 30 compressions for every two breaths. In order to train someone, the person should ideally be 18 years of age or older. Even if you are just helping someone out at the gym, they are unlikely to be under the age of 12, so with this in mind, adult CPR is without a doubt the most important to learn.
Remember the 123ABC steps. 1- Check the scene, 2- Check the victim, 3- Call for help. A- Airway, B- Breathing, C- Circulation.
The first step in giving a fellow client or gym buddy CPR is to check scene safety. Remember, the most important thing when attempting to save someone is your personal safety. Afterall, a person must be dead before you can give them CPR anyway! Next, you should tap the person to assure they are unconscious. If they do not respond, use the head-tilt chin-lift to open the airway and look, listen and feel for breathing. By looking, while feeling for air to come out of their mouth check for chest rise and fall. If one side of the chest is rising, but not the other, then it is likely the person has rib or lung damage. If neither side rises, then it is a sign the person is not breathing. If you do not see a chest rise and fall, do not feel air coming out of their mouth, or do not hear the person trying to breath, then it is safe to begin giving rescue breaths after checking for a pulse.
Each compression should go down between 1 1/2 – 2 inches for an adult, child should go go down between 1 – 1 1/2 depending on the size of the chest cavity, and an infant should be less than an inch by using only 2 fingers. A child you should not use both hands, but only one hand.
Always use your common sense. Never approach a scene that is not safe. Never perform CPR on a victim with a pulse or that is breathing. Continue performing CPR until you are too tired to continue, the EMT’s arrive, or you have another qualified person there to relieve you out. In order to reach the heart, you’re going to have to break ribs, so do not be scared if you hear ribs breaking; it is almost a given in order to reach and resuscitate the heart.