April 1, 2019
Your co-worker can’t breathe. What do you do? You come across a person injured and bleeding. How do you respond? In both scenarios, time is critical, and you may be the only one who can help.
While most people instinctively want to assist, not knowing what to do can prevent a bystander from acting, said Glenn Davis, director of Emergency Medical Services for the Institute for Rural Health Research, which is part of the College of Community Health Sciences.
“You need confidence, which comes from the knowledge you know what to do, and that knowledge comes from training,” Davis said. He and Travis Parker, program specialist for the Institute for Rural Health Research, collaborate with partners across campus to provide that confidence and knowledge to The University of Alabama community through Save a Life Training.
SALT is a free, two-hour class, with the first hour covering high-quality CPR, the Heimlich maneuver, airway obstruction and Automated External Defibrillator skills. The second hour covers Stop the Bleed.
For those who have taken a CPR course in the past, SALT can be a needed refresher covering the American Heart Association’s updated guidelines, Davis said. “High-quality CPR is more than just pushing on a victim’s chest. It must keep the blood flowing. To do so, we teach, “Push hard. Push fast. Full recoil. Minimize delays.”
Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs, are found in buildings throughout campus. SALT makes people more aware of their presence, helps them remember to use the devices and gives people the confidence to work through the steps quickly.
“The AEDs will let you know if the person needs to be shocked,” Davis said. “If you can turn on the machine and follow directions, you can use an AED. The training is to minimize delays by increasing familiarity with the steps and giving people the confidence to act.”
Lindsey Hughey, open records and policy specialist for UA’s Department of Communications, recently completed the training and echoed Davis’s comments on gaining confidence.
“The class was a bit harder than I expected, just because you do not realize how much energy you exert when giving CPR. But I do feel much more prepared to help someone in the event I am ever involved in a crisis situation.”
As for the Stop the Bleed portion of the training, the main skill learned is how to apply pressure to a wound or to use a tourniquet. While models are available, Davis encouraged people who identify as squeamish to give the training a try. “They can practice on their own arm. We want people to be comfortable and we don’t pressure.”
SALT is usually offered the third Friday of each month in the Northeast Medical Building on the Bryce campus, but Davis and Parker will also bring the training to groups across campus. Registration is required and certificates are issued upon completion. SALT also qualifies as a wellness class toward WellBAMA Rewards.