The Importance of CPR Certification for Family Members With Disabilities in Tacoma


On average, over 350,000 cardiac arrests happen outside of the hospital per year in the US. If you know how to administer CPR, you can double or even triple the person’s chance of survival who is experiencing a cardiac arrest.

In Tacoma, as in any other community, emergencies can strike at any moment. For families with members who have disabilities, being prepared for such situations becomes even more critical.

The good thing is that people are becoming more aware of the importance of knowing how to perform CPR. So, by 2070, the cardiopulmonary resuscitation market in the US is predicted to be worth $120 million. For comparison, in 2020, it was valued at $57 million.

Here, we will delve into the importance of CPR certification for family members with disabilities in Tacoma. We’ll explore the benefits, the training process, the profound impact it can have on ensuring the safety of your loved ones, and some resources that can help you get started with CPR training.

Why Is CPR Certification a Must for Family Members with Disabilities?

Do you know that individuals trained in CPR are more likely to help the victim and thus improve their chances of survival? Here we will explore the significance of CPR certification for family members with disabilities:

Enhancing Emergency Response

Every minute without CPR for VF cardiac arrest decreases the chances of survival by 7-10%.

For individuals with disabilities, who may have unique health considerations or conditions, the ability of their family members to provide immediate assistance becomes even more crucial. CPR certification equips family members with the skills to recognize cardiac arrest, perform chest compressions, and deliver rescue breaths when necessary.

Tailored Approach for Specific Disabilities

People with disabilities often have unique health conditions or physical considerations that require a tailored approach to CPR. CPR certification courses typically cover various scenarios, including CPR techniques for infants, kids, and adults. Additionally, some courses provide specific training on adapting CPR for individuals with disabilities, taking into account factors such as physical limitations or medical devices.

For people with disabilities who may experience complications due to their condition, knowing how to administer CPR properly can prevent further conditions from developing.

CPR certification training includes educational sessions on recognizing when to use cardiac arrest treatment. This enables individuals to decide whether or not to administer CPR to the victim.

Collaboration with Healthcare Professionals

When emergency medical services arrive, family members who are CPR-certified can effectively communicate with professionals. They’ll be able to share crucial information about the individual’s medical history, condition, or any actions taken during the emergency.

How to Acquire a CPR Certification in Tacoma

If you live in Tacoma, Washington, you might be wondering how and where you can acquire a CPR certification.

Various organizations and institutions offer CPR certification courses – here are some places where you can acquire CPR training:

      • American Red Cross: They provide comprehensive training programs for both individuals and groups. Their courses cover adult, child, and infant CPR, as well as AED usage. Visit the American Red Cross website or contact the local Tacoma chapter for more information on class schedules and registration.

        • Private Training Centers: These training centers offer a range of CPR courses and may even provide certification for a broader spectrum of emergency medical care, such as first aid and emergency medication.

          • Online CPR Certification Courses: You can opt for online CPR certification courses through various organizations, including the American Heart Association and Red Cross.

        Online CPR certification may be the best option for individuals who have a busy schedule since many courses are self-paced and can be completed from the comfort of your home. However, it’s worth noting that online certification courses are usually less intensive than in-person courses.

        When choosing a CPR certification course, it is essential to consider the course’s validity and quality. Look for classes that provide hands-on training with manikins and are taught by certified instructors.

        The Correct Performance of CPR on a Person with Disabilities

        By now, you understand the importance of CPR certification for family members with disabilities. By employing appropriate adaptations, family members can enhance the delivery of CPR and increase the likelihood of positive outcomes for people with disabilities.

        Here, we will discuss the correct performance of CPR on individuals with disabilities, highlighting key considerations and techniques:

        Recognizing Unique Challenges

        Disabilities can encompass various conditions affecting mobility, communication, and overall physical and cognitive abilities. Understanding these challenges is crucial for tailoring CPR techniques to accommodate the individual’s specific needs.

        In addition, clear communication is fundamental when initiating CPR. For individuals with disabilities, it is important to use appropriate methods to establish consent before taking any life-saving measures. While some individuals may be able to provide verbal consent, others may rely on alternative methods such as sign language, gestures, or written communication.

        Modified Chest Compressions

        When performing CPR on a person with disabilities, it’s crucial to remember that you may need to adjust the number of compressions performed. Individuals with physical disabilities, particularly chest deformities, may require fewer compressions than usual to avoid injury.

        Other things you may need to do are:

            • Adapt the hand position to accommodate physical limitations or deformities, ensuring proper pressure and compression depth;

              • Depending on the person’s condition, using body weight in conjunction with proper hand placement may be necessary to generate adequate force during chest compressions;

                • People with disabilities may require modifications to the traditional hand-over-hand technique. You might need to consider alternative methods, such as using the heel of the hand or a fist, to ensure optimal compression effectiveness.

              Airway Management

              People with disabilities may have unique challenges related to airway management. Consider the following adaptations:

                  • Jaw Thrust Technique: If a person has limited neck mobility or a suspected neck injury, employ the jaw thrust technique instead of the head tilt-chin lift method. This involves placing both hands on either side of the jaw and gently lifting it forward to open the airway.

                    • Taking Into Account the Person’s Ventilation Needs: Healthcare providers and caregivers should receive specific training in these procedures. People who rely on tracheostomy tubes or ventilators may require specialized techniques to ensure proper airway management during CPR.

                      • In performing rescue breaths, there must be a tight seal of the victim’s mouth and your own to avoid air leaks. If the person has a tracheostomy, cover the opening with your hand and breathe through their mouth to provide proper ventilation.

                    The Correct Performance of CPR on a Child with Disabilities

                    Children with special needs can have certain circumstances that require a modified approach when performing CPR. Family members should receive specialized training in CPR techniques tailored to the child with special needs. This training should address specific disabilities, communication strategies, and adaptations to ensure optimal care.

                    The importance of CPR certification for family members with disabilities cannot be overstated. Their familiarity with the child’s condition and needs can greatly enhance the effectiveness of resuscitation efforts.

                    Here are some tips on how to perform CPR on a child with special needs:

                        • Physical Limitations: Adapt CPR techniques to accommodate physical disabilities, such as limited mobility or muscular weakness. Adjust hand placement, compression depth, and the use of body weight accordingly.

                          • Chest Compression Technique: Adjust the compression technique based on the child’s size, age, and physical abilities. For younger children or those with limited strength, use two-finger chest compressions. If the child is small, you should probably use only one hand. You should compress the chest to a depth of 1.5 to 2 inches.

                            • Rescue Breaths: Children with special needs may have difficulty maintaining an open airway or tolerating rescue breaths. Adaptations may include using a pediatric mask, mouth-to-mask ventilation, or mouth-to-nose ventilation if facial anomalies or tracheostomy tubes are present. But, if you can place your mouth over the child’s mouth, perform one or two rescue breaths, about 1 second long.

                          Wrapping Up

                          About 61 million people have a disability in the US. The unique circumstances and potential health risks faced by people with disabilities necessitate a proactive approach to emergency preparedness within the household. About 1,000 people suffer cardiac arrest a day, and only 10% survive. So, we can see that the importance of CPR certification for family members with disabilities is enormous. By becoming certified in CPR, family members can provide immediate assistance as they wait for professional medical personnel. With several options for CPR certification in Tacoma, Washington, it is convenient for anyone interested in learning the skill. The more people with CPR certification, the greater the chances of saving more lives.