One wouldn’t think CPR would be part of a karate class, but this weekend the Academy of Okinawan Karate certified its SWAT team members in CPR. One of our black belts, Mrs. Denise Miller (everyone say hi, as she’s out there reading), works as a nurse for a living, and she led the class.
It’s been a good 20 years since I last sat through a CPR class, and things have changed a bit. Specifically, they don’t appear to sweat breaking ribs or busting off the tip of the sternum anymore. After all, the alternative is a lot worse. Also, good Samaritan laws now protect bystanders providing CPR, whereas I remember being told last time that, if at all possible, you should ask permission to begin CPR. Fat chance of that if the victim is already unconscious, right?
Jokes abounded during the class, of course, but everyone paid close attention and we all felt we learned something. It’s nice to know that if we drop a punk with a well-placed shotei or a hanuchi ken to the throat, we could conceivably correct our mistake. We even learned to adapt one of our strikes for use in the Heimlich maneuver.
In the end, despite the changes in the counts — the number of compressions vs number of breaths — the principle remains the same: get a little more oxygen into the victim, then push it around the body. If it comes to it, it’s time to shock the victim:
Oh, wait, wrong shocker. Let me try again:
Just as with my karate, I hope I’m never in a position where I’m forced to use my CPR. Nevertheless, like karate, it’s nice to know it should the need arise.
My friend Clark saved a former co-worker’s life with an AED once. One of our former principals was refereeing a basketball game, and he passed out on the floor. Clark hooked up the AED and saved the man’s life. AEDs are becoming common in schools and emergency vehicles, which is a comforting thought. Even if you don’t know the timing of chest compressions matches the beat of “Stayin’ Alive”, you could save someone’s life.