Nanny Saves a Life With Infant CPR: “Training Turns Helplessness Into a Fighting Chance”

Health and Safety Stock ImagesLynn Lindquist took a pediatric first aid class so she could be a good nanny to six-month-old Jack.

One day Jack was feeding himself pieces of watermelon when he began choking. Lynn allowed Jack to cough at first, but when his breathing became labored she snatched him from the high chair, and turned him over to start the back blow maneuver she learned from her American Red Cross instructor. The piece dislodged and Lynn was relieved to hear Jack cry. A few calming breaths and many hugs later, Jack was happy and giggling again.

“The steps drilled by our instructor, Ed, kicked in when I needed them,” said Lynn. “Red Cross CPR training turns helplessness into a fighting chance. You need to be able to do the best you can for children.”

Lynn is one of many child care providers who have completed a Red Cross class in the Chicago region who would agree infant first aid is a vital skill to know. Even with constant supervision, babies can choke on food or a small toy. They can slip under water in a bathtub or a shallow pool. Infant CPR training ensures you’re prepared, like Lynn was for baby Jack.

“The thing about learning CPR skills from the Red Cross is that it prepares you to act without over thinking it,” she said. “It’ll give you courage to act when you might not have the confidence to help someone in need.”

CPR uses chest compressions and rescue breaths so oxygen-rich blood circulates through the brain and other vital organs until emergency medical personnel arrive.

Lynn encourages everyone to take a Red Cross CPR class to be prepared to help save a life of any age. The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago offers a variety of First Aid/CPR/AED courses and safety tips. Visit http://www.chicagoredcross.org/ for more information.

Written by: Amisha Sud, American Red Cross Public Affairs Volunteer

Giving Blood to Give Back

Blood Photo

Katerina Svigos showed up to work at Groupon on an arctic Friday morning, blocked out time in her calendar and put her name on the list. This wasn’t, however, any ordinary list.  This list was to save someone’s life – just like the person who saved her cousin’s. Katerina signed up to give blood.

In October of 2012, Katerina nearly lost her cousin. He was outside at a party and fell from a fourth-story balcony. He survived, but the fall broke his back and both of his legs. He was rushed to the hospital that very night where he received three blood transfusions the first weekend he was in the hospital. Recalling the severity of the accident, Katerina said soberly, “it was the 3 blood transfusions that saved his life.” This was her first time giving blood. “I wanted to give back,” she said.

Katerina’s gift is unprecedented. That’s because there is no replacement for blood and every 2 seconds someone in the United States needs it. The Chicagoland region currently uses 6 times more blood than it collects. But on Friday, February 1st, 81 Groupon employees signed up to give blood and the Red Cross collected 71 units. The successful drive not only created the potential to save up to 213 lives, it gave people like Katerina the opportunity to give back in a way that no other type of donation can generate.

Katerina said her cousin is stable now, working on his recovery and is maintaining a positive spirit. She told her cousin that she gave blood because of him.

“He is so thankful,” she said, “he realizes it is other people that saved him.”

Written by: Bridget Ballek

They donated blood. What have you done today?

ImageFor Robert Smatlak and Evelyn Ramos, donating blood is nothing more than a “finger prick.” But blood donation can go a long way to help someone in need.

At a recent blood donation drive hosted by the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago, Robert and Evelyn joined many other donors to help someone who might need their blood someday. A veteran donor, Robert has been donating blood since he was 18 years old and said that 80 percent of his donations are through the Red Cross. When asked about what motivates him to donate, Robert said, “My sister is a lab technician and always keeps mentioning about the shortage of blood. “

For Evelyn, karma played a very important role in her decision to donate blood.  “You never know what can happen and which person might need it. I like the feeling that my blood might help someone. I might need blood someday so I’d like to give back,” she said.

Both of them were fully convinced that they will donate whenever they get the opportunity and that it’s the right thing to do!

Donations are down more than 10 percent across the country, resulting in 50,000 fewer pints of blood than expected. Your donation is needed now. Find out here about a blood drive near you.

 “The need is constant and the gratification is instant.”

 

–Written By: Amisha Sud

 

Want to Save a Life? Give Blood.

Blood is everywhere. Blood is the central theme for our favorite shows, war video games and horror movies. We are not a squeamish nation. The sight of blood doesn’t have us searching for our fainting salts or produces nightmares. Five movies of SAW is proof of our sturdy constitution. The American Red Cross like the rest of the nation is partial to the sight of large supplies of blood. We like to have our blood bank overflowing with healthy and viable blood that is ready to save lives. Currently, the American Red Cross is experiencing a shortage of blood donations, which poses a challenge when demand for blood remains steady.

One pint of blood can save up to 3 lives. Only 3% of Americans donate blood. The following reasons may help inspire you to give blood:

• Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
• More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day.
• More than 1 million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Many of
them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
• A total of 30 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S.
(2006).
• A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.
• The blood used in an emergency is already on the shelves before the event
occurs.
• Sickle cell disease affects more than 80,000 people in the U.S., 98 percent of
whom are African American. Sickle cell patients can require frequent blood
transfusions throughout their lives.

Join the 3% of the population and help save lives. Give Blood.

To find a local blood drive, visit http://www.redcrossblood.org/
Visit http://www.youtube.com/user/AmRedCross for more videos like Brian’s Story