Like the Song Says… How to Save a Life

As it had been made clear, there is a severe lack is basic medical knowledge within Longwood University students. This is a problem because accidents and emergencies happen all the time, especially on college campuses. Longwood is no exception: major events like Oktoberfest and Spring Weekend are breeding grounds for a variety of medical emergencies to happen. The solution is simple; Longwood students need to be prepared for the medical emergencies that are most likely to occur on campus. This training would be best taught at the beginning of every year during New Lancer Days. All freshmen will be required to attend the seminar where basic bleeding control, CPR compressions, and treatment of alcohol poisoning will be taught.

The first step is to figure out when during New Lancer Days will this seminar be taught. Training would take approximately two hours to complete and will be interactive. The best time to include this training would be during the seminar “Lancer Safety” given by Chief Bob Beach. Information can be combined and integrated so that students can learn how to be safe on campus and how to help other students. It would add another hour to the seminar, but it would be beneficial for students. By adding it to another seminar that has already been worked into the schedule, there won’t be any major changes that will need to occur.

The second step is to specifically define what would be included in the training seminar. Bleeding control would include how to identify the different types of wounds and how to apply direct pressure to the wound itself. Instead of making students sit through an entire CPR certification meeting, students would instead be taught how to properly administer chest compressions to a patient who is suffering from a heart problem. Compressions have become much more important in the CRP chain because circulating the blood within a body is more life sustaining than breathing for the patient. As for alcohol poising, students will be taught how to deal with others who are vomiting because of the amount of alcohol they have ingested. Simply strap a book bag filled with clothes or jackets to the person’s back and make it tight enough so they cannot get out of it. Put the individual on their side in the shower or bathroom floor and leave them be. By placing the victim on their side, they will not breathe in their own vomit and suffocate on it. The book bag makes it impossible for that person to roll over. These simple techniques can help people, and make treatment easier for EMS professionals when they arrive on scene. It will be important to stress that 911 still needs to be called, but by training bystanders to act when an emergency first happens, the situation will become under control much faster.

This poster gives directions on how to help someone who is the victim of alcohol poisoning

The third step will be measuring the success of the program. This will be the most difficult part of the program because success would mean that students respond in the case of an emergency. This information can be gathered through interviews or surveys. While the 911 call rate should not change drastically, there may be less calls to accidental overdosing or vomiting due to alcohol poisoning. What would be important to remember is that this seminar is not meant to be and EMT class. This training is meant to simply begin the proper treatment that needs to be administered to a victim on an emergency. This training seminar will not only make Longwood a safer place, it will also overflow into every town, city, and county that Longwood students call home.

Longwood Students Save the World

The issue of a lack of basic medical knowledge in college students is prevalent in every state but I really want to focus on Longwood University. One of the great things about our campus is the fact that it is small and everyone knows everyone. You can be walking down Brock Commons and see someone that was in your LSEM class three years ago and still know their name. The sense of community among Longwood students is already there, and adding a way for people to help one another when they need it most will only encourage a closer feeling to other students. Medical emergencies can happen any time of any day, which is why it is important for students to have some basic knowledge of how to help someone.

The most common types of injuries on Longwood’s campus are cuts and lacerations, overdoses on alcohol and drugs, and falls. These specific problems have very simple solutions to them that anyone can do. In 2013, Longwood welcomed 1,064 freshman students to campus. Longwood also plans on expanding campus and doubling the amount of students by 2020. This mass increase in students is going to drive accident and injury rates way up, but those numbers can be reduced if those incoming freshman learn during New Lancer Days how to react in an emergency situation. Not only can they help students on campus, this training will follow them wherever they go in life. Simple training will save lives, no matter where people are. The American Heart Association did a study where they found that heart attack patients have a great chance of survival if bystanders initiated CPR early, before health professionals can get on scene.

I want to offer this program first to incoming freshman because they are the easiest to get to. They are required to go to parts of New Lancer Days for a grade and Peer Mentors are going to be with those students for a majority of the time during New Lancer Days. If this program proves to be successful, I want to expand this to include transfer students who come to Longwood as sophomores or juniors. Success of this program can be measure by the number of calls to Prince Edward Volunteer Rescue Squad to Longwood’s campus. If students know how to help someone who is vomiting from drinking too much alcohol, they won’t need to call the Rescue Squad every time someone drinks too much. Now, there are going to be times where the Rescue Squad is still going to need to take someone to the hospital, but the training that students will receive would aid first responders so the patient can be treated and transported quicker and in more comfort.

By providing this basic first responder training to incoming freshman at Longwood University, I believe that only great things will follow. Students are going to feel safer on campus knowing that anyone around them can help in the case of an emergency. There will be a commonplace of knowledge for all students, and it may help students figure out what they want to do for a career. If it wasn’t for the EMT class I took last year, I would never have realized I wanted to be a nurse. There may be numerous other students who are in the same boat I was in. By requiring this training, Longwood is going to create leaders and pillars of the community because this training will follow students where ever they go in life.

Once a Lancer, Always a Lancer

Basic emergency medicine is easy to understand and practice. I am proposing that Longwood needs to create a mandatory seminar for freshman to attend during New Lancer Days that will teach them the basics of what to do in an emergency situation. Part of the seminar with include CPR certification, training on how to control bleeding, administer the Heimlich maneuver on a chocking victim, and what the signs and symptoms are of alcohol and drug overdose.  By learning these simple responses to an emergency situation, lives can be saved. Students become the first line of defense in protecting fellow students, faculty, and guests. Knowing the basics of how to control bleeding, how to stay calm in an emergency, and how to help in an overdose situation, campus will become a safer place for all visitors.

Students are the most important people on this campus. Without students, there would be no professors and there would be no Longwood University. The major stakeholders in this situation are students at Longwood University. They would be the ones receiving the training and would be the ones to act in the event of a medical emergency. I’m not saying that all students should become EMTs. But if they knew how to control bleeding, what do to in the event of drug or alcohol overdose, and how to do CPR, the students at Longwood are going to be able to help one another and those in the community. Longwood prides itself in creating citizen leaders and this is a new aspect in becoming a citizen leader.

There is a limited history of collegiate EMS because a majority of schools do not require students to know basic medical information. Most large Universities like Virginia Tech and James Madison offer on-campus rescue squads, but that is hard for smaller schools like Longwood because there is typically a county rescue squad close by. I do believe that life on campus can be improved if students have a basic medical understanding and how to act in certain emergency situations.

Emergencies happen on college campuses all the time and Longwood is no exception. The most common emergencies that happen at Longwood are those influenced by drugs and alcohol, followed by falls and bleeding. If students can learn to attend to the needs of others before professional EMS providers can get on scene, students will feel closer to other students at Longwood and campus will be a safer place to be. This proposal is not meant to sway people to become paramedics or emergency room doctors. People go to school for years to learn how to treat every manner of illness. This proposal instead focuses on basic medical understanding that students would be most likely to use on a college campus. The training would include CPR, bleeding control, and alcohol/drug overdose treatment. This training would not take the place of a Rescue Squad but would instead focus on providing assistance to a patient before EMS gets on scene. Measures can be taken to help preserve the quality of life of patients and provide comfort to those patients as well.

By teaching students how to respond in the event of a medical emergency, there will be a greater sense of community on Longwood’s campus while also making it a safer place. This training can extend from Longwood into student’s hometowns where they can help in the event of an emergency there.

Taking our Knowledge Home

It is crucial for people to understand basic medical knowledge. I am an EMT and I was working this past week with the rest of my crew when we received a call to Longwood University for a student who was having a seizure. When we got on scene, the patient had disappeared. One of the other students has told this young lady that she should just drive herself to the hospital instead of waiting for the rescue squad. Seizures are very dangerous and can re-appear even after the first one subsides. Driving to the hospital is a very bad idea when someone has had a seizure and is alone. This incident just proves that there is a lack in basic medical understanding that could end up causing someone great harm.

This is the logo for the American Heart Association, and their motto is “Learn and Live”. They are the organization who did the research on survival rate in comparison to bystander-iniaitiated CPR.

This incident has made me want to work harder at getting something implemented where Longwood students receive basic medical training. The problem is that there is nothing currently in place that teaches students how to respond to certain medical emergencies. By implementing a two-hour seminar during New Lancer Days, students will learn how to react in emergencies, and how to provide assistance in the event of a medical emergency.  Some people may see this as an unnecessary aspect of New Lancer Days for students, but there is research that shows there is a significant increase in survival rate in the event of a heart attack if CPR is started early. The American Heart Association did a study that investigated the survival rate of people who had heart attacks who had CPR started earlier by bystanders. The research showed that there was a significantly higher survival rate of people who had heart attacks if CPR was started by bystanders right after the incident, instead of waiting for EMS personal to arrive on scene.

Another reason why people can feel like this is not an important thing to be teaching to students is the fact that there is a local rescue squad that is only a few minutes away from campus. The problem with this is that the rescue squad near Longwood deals with all of Prince Edward County. They are not just there for Longwood University. There are only two crews at the squad house at a time and they may be out dealing with another call. If that happens, a ambulance will come from a neighboring county but it will take a long time. By teaching students how to deal with medical emergencies, they will be able provide assistance until the rescue squad can arrive and take over treating the patient.

This map shows all the counties in the state of Virginia. Students from all over Virginia attend Longwood University and they will take their knowledge back to where-ever they call home.

The logic to this is simple- by teaching students how to help others in a medical emergency, they can end up saving someone life. And it doesn’t have to just be in Prince Edward County. This idea extends to where all Longwood students call home. They become citizen leaders in there own county and can make a difference anywhere they go.

 

Critical Source:

Copley, D. P. , J. A. Mantle, W. J. Rogers, R. O. Russell Jr. , and C. E. Rackley. “Improved

Outcome For Prehospital Cardiopulmonary Collapse With Resuscitation By Bystanders.” Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians 7.5 (1978): 223-223. Print.

I chose this article as my critical source because it is an example of how important it is for everyone to know CPR. The American Heart Association did a study on the effects of bystander-initiated CPR and if there was an improvement in survival rates. What they discovered is that there is a very significant increase in survival rate if CPR was started sooner, rather than later.