Category Archives: First Aid

What are Universal Precautions?

The Importance of Universal Precautions and How to Protect Yourself from Bloodborne Pathogens

Universal precaution is an approach to infection control that urges medical providers, first aid providers, and bystanders to treat all human blood and other potentially infectious materials such as cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, semen, vaginal secretions, amniotic fluid, saliva in dental procedures, and any body fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood as if it were known to be infectious for HIV, hepatitis, staph, or other bloodborne pathogens (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).

Individuals who use universal precautions are much less likely to be exposed to bloodborne pathogens

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 5.6 million workers in the healthcare industry and related occupations are at risk of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens. These figures don’t include the tens of millions of people who are first aid certified each year and who play an increasingly important role as first responders to emergency situations.

In case you were curious, not all fluids require special handling: “Universal precautions do not apply to feces, nasal secretions, sputum, sweat, tears, urine, and vomitus unless they contain visible blood. The risk of transmission of HIV and HBV from these fluids and materials is extremely low or nonexistent” (CDC).  

The Purpose of Universal Precautions

The purpose of practicing universal precautions is twofold: universal precautions protect patients from further harm or infection, while simultaneously protecting the medical or first aid practitioner from contracting a bloodborne illness from an infected individual.  

Universal Precaution Equipment

Although unbroken skin is a good barrier against bloodborne pathogens, even the smallest cut, blister, blemish, or skin opening can admit pathogens. Bloodborne pathogens may also be transmitted through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and mouth. Equip yourself with personal protective equipment such as:

If your office or facility has an AED, First Aid, or Stop the Bleed® kits, you should include standard universal precaution personal protective equipment.

10 Ways Protect Yourself from Bloodborne Pathogens

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to perform CPR, give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, administer first aid, or are otherwise exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials, you must protect yourself to prevent exposure to pathogens.

  1. Treat all blood and body fluid spills as if they were infectious.
  2. When providing first aid or CPR, protect yourself first (put on gloves and use a face mask), then treat the victim.
  3. Coach injured individuals to apply bandages and to exert pressure on a wound if they’re able to do so.
  4. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment: gloves, goggles, face shields, etc…
  5. When performing CPR, always use a mask equipped with a one-way valve to prevent contact with potentially infectious body fluids.
  6. Contain spills immediately, then clean up and disinfect the area.
  7. Handle all trash with caution — as though it contains sharps and/or infectious items.
  8. When removing contaminated clothing, carefully turn all items inside out as they’re removed to contain contaminants.
  9. Carefully dispose of contaminated items in appropriately labeled containers.
  10. After removing personal protective equipment, vigorously wash hands or other affected body parts with soap and warm water. If soap is not available, use hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes.

Cardio Partners is a trusted nationwide CPR, First Aid, AED, and bloodborne pathogen training center. We offer high-quality training courses in all 50 states in both traditional classroom settings and in blended learning courses. To learn more about our courses or to schedule a training, call our team at 866-349-4362 or email Cardio Partners at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

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5 Heart-SMART Goals For 2019

Achieve These 5 Goals and You Could Save a Life

Happy New Year from all of us here at Cardio Partners! We know you have your resolutions lined up but around here, we’re all about setting SMART goals. For those of you who need a refresher, that’s Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. There’s something so incredibly satisfying about setting a clear goal and achieving it, so let’s start the New Year with a solid action plan.

2019 Goals

GOAL #1: Become First Aid Certified

If you’ve been putting off getting your First Aid certification or telling yourself that you’ll “get around to it,” well, now’s the time.

In fact, here’s your SMART Goal in one tidy little package: Become First Aid certified by the end of National Heart Awareness Month in February.

Visit the American Red Cross or American Heart Association to find a class near you. Classes are affordable, convenient, and flexible. Blended courses, which combine online coursework with in-person skills training, are great options for busy professionals.

GOAL #2: Get Your CPR and AED Certification

Once you have your freshly minted First Aid certification in hand, level up with CPR and AED training. To keep yourself accountable and to fulfill the Timely requirement, set a deadline for yourself! May 30 seems pretty reasonable to us. Again, to find a class near you, the American Red Cross or American Heart Association are the websites to visit.

Wondering what you’ll learn? Check out 10 Reasons Why You Should Learn CPR, or more to the point, What Will I Learn From a CPR or First Aid Class?

GOAL #3: Encourage Your Friends & Colleagues to Become First Aid & CPR Certified

Congratulations! You’ve passed the tests and made the grade! Now, encourage others to do the same. Think about the folks in your life who would benefit from becoming certified and jot down a quick list. Whether you opt to encourage one family member, start a movement within your community, or recruit 10 colleagues, make sure your goal is specific, measurable, and attainable.

We’re thinking “Encourage at least 15 friends and colleagues to register for First Aid, CPR, and AED Certification before the end of the year” sounds pretty doable.

GOAL #4: Invest in a Stop the Bleed Kit

Think of it as a graduation gift to yourself. Violence is a sad reality in America these days, so it’s best to be prepared.

Curaplex Stop the Bleed kits are intentionally designed to provide the trained rescuer with immediate access to life-saving products that can control bleeding and traumatic hemorrhaging. Basic kits start at $59.99 and the compact, vacuum-packed and tamper-proof kit includes:

A permanent marker
2 pairs of gloves, latex-free, large
1 C-A-T® tourniquet
1 emergency bandage
Pair of trauma shears, 7.5”
2 rolls of primed, compressed gauze dressing
A printed insert which shows instructions for use
Advanced kits include 1 Pack of HALO seals and QuikClot combat gauze.

GOAL #5: Start a Fundraiser for a Community AED

We recently donated a refurbished AED to the Q Center in Portland, Oregon, but as much as we’d like to, we simply can’t donate an AED to every deserving community center in the country. We can, however, share some great advice for funding for your AED program!

GotAED, an initiative of Simon’s Heart, is a crowdfunding site dedicated to placing AEDs in areas where children learn and play. The site invites schools and youth organizations to begin a campaign to fund the purchase of an AED and offers tips and suggestions to help ensure a successful crowdsourcing campaign. If your organization isn’t kid-focused, you may want to look into other popular crowdfunding platforms like CauseVox and CrowdRise.

Before you launch a crowdfunding campaign, be sure to familiarize yourself with the laws regulating nonprofit fundraising in your state. A good place to start your research is the National Council of Nonprofits.

For the full scoop, download our Grant Guide.

Have burning questions about our products and services? Ready to achieve your heart-smart goals? Please contact Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. We also welcome your emails, and you can reach us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

 

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8 Pool Safety Tips and AED Best Practices for a Safe, Happy, and Healthy Summer!

Why is Pool Safety Important?

As visions of summer vacation dance in the minds of kids, parents, and teachers, it’s time to either start preparing your backyard pool for the flocks of neighborhood children or to renew that expired pool membership!

Before you take that first plunge into the deep end, however, it’s important to take a moment to reflect on the importance of pool safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Drownings are a leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 14, and three children die every day as a result of drowning. In fact, drowning kills more children 1 to 4 than anything else except birth defects.”

In a ten-year period from 2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 drowning deaths in the United States each year. That’s more than 10 deaths per day!

Here at Cardio Partners and AED.com, we want to make sure that everyone stays safe this glorious summer!

Tip #1: Make Sure Your Poolside Guests Know How to Swim!

May is National Water Safety Month and we think it’s the perfect time to enroll your child in swim lessons. Here’s a statistic we can get behind: the CDC estimates that the risk of drowning is decreased by nearly 90% when young children take swimming lessons. Naturally, grown-ups and teens can benefit from refresher courses, First Aid classes, CPR certification, or lifeguarding classes. Check out your local Parks & Recreation schedule or try a nearby YMCA or Red Cross.

Tip #2: Invest in Personal Flotation Devices and Life Saving Equipment

If you have a pool, you need personal flotation devices and life-saving equipment. We recommend that all non-swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket or personal flotation device—even in the shallow end! We agree, those little donut-shaped swimmies and dinosaur floaties are super cute and noodles are tons of fun, but they’re not designed to prevent drowning.

Tip #3: Know the Signs of Drowning and Secondary Drowning

Contrary to every splashy Hollywood movie ever released, a person who is drowning probably won’t wave their hands in the air and cry desperately for help. They’ll be too busy trying to breathe to use that precious oxygen for shouting. More often than not, death by drowning is silent, so keep your eyes and your ears open.

Drowning Warning Signs

If your guest has gone silent and still in the water, check in and ask them to respond verbally. If the person is unable to respond, or their expression is blank, get them out of the water immediately!

Symptoms of Dry (or Secondary) Drowning

Dry drowning, or secondary drowning is also a very real danger. The American Osteopathic Association writes: “Dry and secondary drowning can occur after inhaling water through the nose or mouth. In cases of dry drowning, the water triggers a spasm in the airway, causing it to close up and impact breathing. Unlike dry drowning, delayed or secondary drowning occurs when swimmers have taken water into their lungs. The water builds up over time, eventually causing breathing difficulties.”

Tip # 4: Designate a “Lifeguard”

If you’re hosting a pool party, hiring a lifeguard may seem equal parts excessive and over-cautious, but it may be worth considering. First Aid and poolside CPR-certified lifeguards typically earn $10-15 an hour and are worth every penny in peace of mind. For smaller, family affairs, be sure to select a strong swimmer who is also CPR or First Aid certified as your designated watcher.

Tip #5: Invest in a First Aid Kit and an AED

There’s a reason why so many states have passed AED Legislation mandating the placement of AEDs in schools and sporting facilities. For a victim of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), an AED can be a lifesaver. AEDs are designed for use in a variety of adverse conditions.

If you need to use an AED on someone who has been swimming or has recently been pulled from the pool, remove any clothing and dry his or her chest as thoroughly as possible. Be sure there are no puddles around you, the patient, or the AED. Apply the pads and follow the device’s voice prompts. Every AED cautions responders and bystanders to stand clear of the patient.

Tip # 6: Pick a Swim Buddy!

Younger kids should have always have a swim buddy! Make sure your young swimmers can identify their swimming buddy and encourage clear communication. Even with the buddy system in place, never leave children unattended in the pool.

Tip # 7: Safety First!

You should check your local ordinances to make sure that your pool enclosure is in compliance with local regulations. Always securely lock your pool area when you’re not using it. And finally, make sure that you have access to a phone (preferably a water-resistant one) at all times in the case of an emergency.

Tip #8: Jump On In! (Feet-first, of Course!)

Diving headfirst into swimming pool can result in serious injury or death. Teach children how to jump into a pool feet-first and away from the pool’s concrete edge. Cannonballs are encouraged!

Get yourself pool-ready and water-safe. Enroll in a First Aid and AED Certification course today. Call our team at 866-349-4362 or visit AED.com or CardioPartners.com for more information.

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