Mental Health Week- May 6-12

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Disaster can strike at a moments notice; however, someone can have the skills to be prepared in the case of an emergency.

Gaining knowledge in first-aid is not something you forget, says Regional Director Emergency Medical Services Southern Health-Santé Sud, Scott Noble, you retain that knowledge throughout your life, and can then use it if you're ever required to do so.

"It could be swimming, outdoor activities, a child that's choking on a piece of food or a toy, any one of those events can happen at any time. For parents, for any caregivers, it's very important to have those skills."

Noble says in any circumstance where first-aid is needed, knowing how to proceed is vital, which can come from training, which can help management of bleeds, management of fractures, or assisting people in a variety of medical conditions.

One of the primary interventions in the first-aid repertoire is Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), not only will you be able to patch someone up if they are injured, but CPR can also give someone precious moments for emergency responders to arrive.

"Especially in the case of CPR, CPR needs to start within seconds, at the most minutes, to help of someone's heart ceasing to beat, for us to have a chance of us to have a good outcome. That is absolutely critical in terms of the chain of survival."

According to the Canadian Red Cross, they recognize that compression-only CPR is an acceptable alternative for those who are unwilling, unable, untrained, or are no longer able to perform full CPR. In some cases, compression-only CPR is the preferred method for members of the public who witness an adult suddenly collapse. The most important thing for Canadians to know right now is that the CPR they've been trained to perform is not “wrong.” All Canadian Red Cross CPR courses will continue to teach full CPR. Early CPR remains one of the most critical factors in surviving cardiac arrest.

The necessary steps remain the same:

*Get help, call 911 to activate your local emergency medical system;

*Start CPR to keep the blood flowing.;

Noble adds when you start CPR you need to sustain it as long as possible; sometimes a person can become so exhausted they can't continue which is why having those skills is essential as you can take over someone in that situation till EMS arrives.

People have busy lives says Noble, and it can be challenging to find the time to take a training class. However, first-aid and CPR is easy to learn and saves lives, with dozens of courses available through various providers.

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