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Resuscitation Training Tips For Preventing Learner Injuries

Training staff on Voice-Assisted Manikins (VAMs) is an important way to ensure that standardized quality CPR is being learned. Customers often ask how their organizations can assist staff with physical limitations or challenges to be successful in the completion of BLS or ACLS Hands-On Sessions using Voice-Assisted Manikins. TriHealth (Cincinnati, OH) has developed a very successful HeartCode BLS Program that includes workarounds for staff with physical challenges. They also have developed guidelines for protecting learners from hurting themselves.

Here are some general tips for preventing injuries to staff members:

For Adult Compressions:

Use an aerobic wide-base stepper to elevate body over the VAM allowing the shoulders to be directly over the heel of the hands during compressions. Also:

  1. Get close to the Adult VAM and take a wide stance as if you were going to lift something heavy. The wide-base provides additional support.
  2. Extend arms straight out in front of body and lock elbows.
  3. Place dominate hand on bottom, either interlace fingers or angle dominant hand on bottom and angle inward so it feels more natural. Take non-dominant hand and encircle thumb and index finger around dominate wrist. The palm of top hand should be centered over the back of bottom hand. They should cover the exact same space (looks like one hand with fingers extended over either top side—your hands should resemble wings).
  4. Keeping elbows locked, bring arms straight down to manikin and place heel/palm of hand on lower half of the breastbone.
  5. Do NOT use arms/neck/back/shoulders to perform compressions. Instead, keep arms/neck/back/shoulders stiff and bend at the hips to perform compressions. With each compression, stick your bottom out behind you and imagine you are trying to hit someone behind you.
  6. Be sure to bend at waist with each compression and straightening back up between compressions to allow full chest recoil.

For Adult Cycle CPR:

  1. Following 30 compressions, step off the stepper with one foot to easily give two breaths.
  2. Following two breaths, step back up on stepper. You can hold onto manikin to stable self if needed.
  3. Take the time to get close, take a wide stance, arms out in front of you, lock elbows, and bring them down to proper positioning then begin compressions.

For Infant Compressions:

Get close to the Infant VAM and take a wide stance as if you were going to lift something heavy. The wide base provides additional support. Also:

  1. Angle your body slightly closer to head of infant to allow for more natural/comfortable stance.
  2. Place two fingers of one hand just below nipple line and using second hand, hold onto hand/wrist of first hand to allow for strength of both arms to perform compressions.

For the Infant Cycle CPR:

Following two breaths, take the time to get close, widen your stance, and grab dominant hand/wrist to have strength of two arms, then begin compressions. This should only take 1-2 seconds.

This post excerpts an article in our recent eBook, High-Quality CPR: Breathing New Life into Your Training Program. Learn more about HealthStream solutions for improving resuscitation outcomes.

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