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Airplane First Aid TrainingIf you own or operate an airplane or helicpoter you should be prepared to handle any and all medical emergencies.  Becasue of this, we have expanded our services to include onboard training for your pilot and flight crew.  We can teach on your plane, at the airport or at any location you wish.  Please call us at 561-762-0500 to discuss your CPR AED and First Aid Safety Training needs.

The CPR School recently provided CPR, AED and First Aid training for the pilots, flight attendants and staff of an airline that flies Boeing 737 airplanes.  During the class we discussed the many potential medical emergencies that could happen both on the ground and in flight.  Some of the emergency medical safety topics discussed included heart attack, stroke, electrocution, diabetic emergencies, seizures, choking, allergic reactions, burns, bleeding, falls, sudden cardiac arrest and heat related medical emergencies.  In addition to medical emergencies we also talked about bloodborne pathogens and how to protect ourselves from Hepatitis and HIV while helping an injured person.

Emergency First Aid TrainingThe students, who were mostly pilots and flight attendants were very interested in learning and asked a lot of great questions.  The quality of the questions was very impressive.  These people were really thinking about real life emergencies that could happen while in flight.  While on the ground, most of us are within 8-12 minutes of EMS – Emergency Medical Services.  While in flight we could be flying at 25,000 feet and the wait time to get to Emergency Medical Services could be a long way off.  That is why flight crew must be trained with real life scenarios, and interactive lectures.  The students must be encouraged to ask questions and the instructors should ask the students questions as well.  If a medical emergency occurs while in flight, you may not have time to look the answers up in a book and you maybe required to administer medical assistance immediately. 

Keith Murray, owner of The CPR School, LLC is also the lead instructor.  Keith indicates that they try to customize their classes to fit the industry.  For example, if they are teaching a class for pilots and flight attendants they spend more time talking about injuries such as heart attack and cardiac arrest, stroke, allergic reactions, and diabetic emergencies versus when we offer training classes for lifeguards we would spend more time on drowning, heat related emergencies and bites and stings from sea life.  We are very thorough in our classes, but we put greater emphasis on medical emergencies that are more likely to occur in that particular industry.  In all classes students are trained on at least two AEDs.  We feel that it is important that all students have actual hands on experience using several AEDs. 

Keith Murray has first hand experience using AEDs and often shares his story about having to use an AED on a passenger waiting to board a Delta flight in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.  Along with the help of two other passengers, they were able to perform CPR, rescue breathing and revive the victim with the first shock of the AED.  Fortunately for the passenger, Atlanta’s airport has AEDs everywhere for the public to access and use in the event of cardiac arrest.

In 1997, American Airlines became the first U.S. carrier to equip it’s aircraft fleet with Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs).  In the first 10 years American had the AEDs on board it saved 76 lives.  Without the AED, most, if not all of these 76 passengers would not be alive today.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires U.S. airlines to carry automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and enhanced emergency medical kits.  The rule applies to all airplanes flying domestic and international flights that weigh more than 7,500 pounds each and have at least one flight attendant.

When a plane is flying at 25,000 feet, it takes at least 20 minutes to land for EMS to reach the plane.  Before AEDs were placed on planes there was little chance to save a passenger in cardiac arrest while in flight.

According to the American Heart Association, sudden cardiac arrest claims about 340,000 lives each year – or around 930 every day in the United States.  Sudden cardiac arrest, which is the leading cause of death in the United States kills more people than breast cancer, lung cancer, and AIDS combined.  Currently 95 percent of all cardiac arrest victims die.

1. What is sudden cardiac arrest and can it happen on an aircraft?
Sudden cardiac arrest is caused by a life-threatening abnormal heart rhythm that can result from heart attack, respiratory arrest, drowning, electrocution, choking, trauma or it can have no known cause and it can happen to anyone regardless of age or gender.  

In most instances to restart the heart you will need an AED or Automated External Defibrillator.  Unlike the defibrillators with the paddles you see on TV, the AEDs that are in many public places such as airports, marinas, shopping malls, churches, health clubs, golf and tennis clubs and schools are safe to use.  These AEDs are designed to only shock dead people.  By this I mean that these public access defibrillators or AED’s will not shock a living breathing person.  They are designed to only shock people that are no longer breathing.  This means that you can’t connect someone up to this AED and shock them unless they are no longer breathing and in 2 unique types of heart rhythms. 

2. What is an Automated External Defibrillator or AED?
An Automated External Defibrillator or AED is a portable, battery operated electronic device about the size of a laptop computer.  The AED automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a victim and is able to treat the patient by an electrical shock which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm.  AEDs are designed to be simple so that anyone can use one.  So simple that I often start my CPR AED classes by selecting someone from the class that has never seen an AED and I ask them to demonstrate how to use an AED by following the AEDs voice instructions.  To date, the youngest person to effectively demonstrate the AED in one of my classes was only 9 years old.

3. What type of training is required to use an AED?
AEDs are designed to be very simple to use.  However, this is a race against time.  For every minute we delay shocking our victim their chance of survival drops 10%.  Training increases speed, confidence and efficiency.   I suggest working with a professional trainer that has real life experience using CPR and AEDs on real people.  An instructor that can work with your staff to answer any and all questions.  Someone that can create realistic training scenarios to use during class and most importantly someone that can make your staff comfortable using their new skills.  You don’t want an instructor that scares or confuses them.  Look for a full time, insured professional that knows AEDs, CPR and First Aid.

Good training is essential.  If you just pop in a video tape and expect people to pay attention and really learn you are mistaken.  Quality learning involves two directional communication flowing back and forth between the instructor and the students.

Below are a few of the comments from just one class I taught for the airlines.
“Very good instructor – made it interesting, fun, while gaining knowledge”
“Keith did an excellent job.  He did an awesome job relating CPR to our work environment”
“Best instructor I have ever had!”
“Excellent Course”
“Very good instructor, keeps you interested throughout whole course”
“Keep Keith Murray as your only instructor.  Without a doubt the best instructor regarding first aid and CPR I’ve ever had.  His class participation was very much encouraged and we all took part.  Thank you very much for making me better prepared to help an injured person.”
“Thank you!  Great Job”
“The entire course was extremely informative and valuable!”
“Thank you so much.  I feel so confident and aware now.  It was our pleasure having you teach us.”
“Excellent presentation, informative, kept our attention”

The CPR School will travel to your location and conduct training for your employees on your plane, at the hanger or at your office.  Pilots, flight attendants, flight crew, ground crew, mechanics, ticket agents and office staff should all be trained to properly care for sick or injured passengers as well as coworkers.  From jumbo jets to small commuter planes we can help with your safety needs.

Keith Murray is the owner of The CPR School, a mobile training company that provides CPR, AED First Aid Safety Training Certification Classes for businesses and schools throughout Florida. The CPR School also sells, services and provides program management for AEDs - automated external defibrillators.  Contact The CPR School at 561-762-0500 or Keith@TheCPRschool.com