CPR recertification is vital as you would be surprised at how quickly you can forget how to do CPR even if you have recently passed via online CPR certification. The usual suggestion is that you should recertify every two years. Some people may think that the American Red Cross is trying to raise money by requiring annual recertification. This is not the case. They may actually save lives as studies have shown that your knowledge of CPR decreases very rapidly if you do not practice your skills.
The studies showed that it didn’t matter whether you were medically qualified or not. On average most people showed a serious deterioration in their knowledge levels. Approximately half of those tested one year after taking their CPR course failed the basic knowledge tests. The evidence would suggest that the Red Cross is on the right track although it may be a good idea for people to take a CPR refresher course every six months. This would be quite easy to do given the abundance of CPR certification courses available online or at your local school or college. It is nationally accepted that more people need to learn and be able to begin CPR AED in order to increase the chance of anyone surviving a cardiac arrest.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration suggest that all employees should be offered CPR and first aid recertification training at least annually with refresher courses every six months. Obviously if you are employed by the emergency services you may want to consider doing refresher courses more often. The level of CPR training needed by an emergency services worker is a lot higher than that required by a lay person.
You do not have to attend a complete CPR class to keep your knowledge up to date and useful. Periodic review of course materials including Infant CPR videos, practice sessions on a dummy and even CPR guidelines posted around the office all help to reinforce your training. There are plenty of online CPR AED courses available and once they are sanctioned by the Red Cross or American Heart Association you know they are worth the money.
In addition to people forgetting how to do CPR, the guidelines sometimes change. Medical science is evolving all the time as is the Legal position. Some people will not attempt to help at the scene of an emergency as they are worried about being sued. While it is true that you can injure a casualty when performing CPR, the likelihood is that the person is going to die if you don’t do anything. They have a chance if you can perform cardiac pulmonary resuscitation properly and an even better one if you are training in the use of an AED and have access to a defibrillator when the emergency occurs.
The Good Samaritan Act has given some people more confidence to help in the event of witnessing an emergency. But statistics still show that less than a third of victims of cardiac arrest will receive help from anyone other than the emergency services. You can help change these figures by carrying a wallet card showing you have completed your CPR certification. Don’t let a child or infant die because you couldn’t be bothered to learn basic adult/child/infant CPR.
Of course if you attend CPR classes the risk of you injuring a casualty lessens as hopefully you will know what you are doing. Be careful where you obtain your qualifications. Almost anyone can claim to be a CPR instructor but unless they are accredited by the American Red Cross, The American Heart Association or the National Safety Council you may want to pass on the class. You can contact your nearest medical center to ask where the local CPR recertification classes are held. They should be able to help you. Most courses come with a money back guarantee. Check to see that they train you in the use of an automated external defibrillator as the victims chances of survival increase dramatically if you combine CPR with an AED.
Remember the more you practice the more you will retain your skills. Your confidence will increase with every CPR recertification training you undergo. Your knowledge levels will also improve and you will be at the forefront of any developments in the manner or application of your CPR knowledge. With less than 10% of people who suffer a cardiac arrest outside a hospital surviving, don’t you think it is worth attaining and retaining your potentially life saving qualifications?