CPR Trainer

CPR Trainer

CPR Trainer

Ashburn, VA

Female, 33

I have been a certified CPR/AED Trainer for 8 years. I started my own training company in 2009 with my husband. My professional life revolves around training everyone from Doctors and Nurses to Moms and Dads how to perform CPR and react in an emergency. For the last 3 years, we have trained over 1,200 students annually. Ask me anything and everything about CPR, Saving Lives and training manikins.

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27 Questions


Last Answer on April 28, 2016

Best Rated

My restaurant has a defibrillator but I don't know how to use it. In case of an emergency (aka someone needs it), would i have time to read the instructions and use it before they died?

Asked by Demar over 6 years ago

Good Question--

First, I'm happy to hear that your restaurant has an AED.  Getting an AED on someone within the first 2 minutes of a Cardiac Arrest is critical to their survival.

Here is the good news:  AEDs are very easy to use.  All you have to do is Turn It On and it will talk you through everything else.  Every AED will give verbal instructions to lead you through a rescue, step-by-step.  And the best part is that if you do something incorrectly (i.e. put the pads in the wrong place), the AED will tell you.

While I always recommend that people take a CPR class to learn how to do CPR and use an AED, remember that as long as you turn it on, the AED will guide you through the rest of the steps.

Why does the 'official' CPR method change from time to time? Like they announce that breathing is no longer part of it, or other changes. Who makes that decision, and why did science not know that until recently?

Asked by AA over 6 years ago

It seems like everytime you turn on the TV someone is telling you that CPR is different, and it is hard to know who to believe.  CPR has always been an evoloving process.  I have an old Blue Jacket Manual (US Navy Manual), that belonged to my grandfather in the 1940's-in it, they show CPR as putting the victim on their stomach and moving the arms up and down over the head like a bird flying.  My how things have changed!!

Most CPR Guidelines decisions are made on what is called the ECC (Emergency Cardiovascular Care)/AHA Committee.  This is based on research and experimental implementation in NIH, Eurpoe and in a few hospitals/ambulance crews across the USA.  It takes years to amass enough data to adequatly support changing CPR.  

You still breathe in CPR-take a look at some more detailed basics below:

1)  There is still breathing in CPR.  The concept of Hands-Only CPR was developed by the AHA to encourage more people to act in an emergency.  It was found that bystanders panicked and were afraid to act because they thought CPR was too complicated.  Hands-Only CPR is meant to be used on adults that you see collapse.  It is not effective for children, infants, drowning/accident victims.  Conventional CPR is still seen as best, but by getting bystanders to atleast do something (i.e. PUSH), surivial rates have begun to creep up.  See this link for more information:  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/CPRAndECC/HandsOnlyCPR/LearnMore/Learn-More_UCM_440810_FAQ.jsp

2)  The American Heart Association (AHA), the gold-standard for CPR training in the USA, has committed to revising it's guildelines every 5 years.  This means that in 2015-another change is coming.    They use research from the USA and from around the world to see what techniques are providing the best outcome.

3)  There are different types of CPR classes.  Some classes provide a certification, some classes are meant for Healthcare Providers (EMTs, Nurses, MDs), others are meant simply to bring awareness (Friends & Family CPR).  Each type of class is taught a different way with a different goal in mind.  So, when you see someone on the TV demonstrating CPR, it is usually the most basic technique that can fit into a 30 second spot.

4)  Not all CPR Guidelines carry the same weight.  For instance, in my area (East Coast/South), a hospital will not accept any CPR card not issued by an AHA instructor.  So, Red Cross, ECSI, American EHS-all of these classes-while they teach a type of CPR, it is not recognized.  This is why I call the AHA the Gold-Standard.  Other CPR training guidelines take pieces form the AHA and sprinkle in their own interpretation.  They may even say "AHA compliant" or "AHA Guidelines" this is not the same and the AHA has issued a statement saying that they do not condone the use of their guidelines by any other agency.

I hope this long answer has helped to answer your question.  CPR is constantly evoloving and changing.  I hope you can take a class soon to learn more.

Is it possible to perform CPR on animals? My friend told me that she called 911 when her dog was unresponsive, and they told her to give it chest compressions, which she didn't do because she was freaking out and didn't know whether it would help.

Asked by Ellen91 over 6 years ago

Hi Ellen 91:

Yes, you can perform CPR on animals.  Some states even require that vetrinarians have CPR training for animals.  

Some EMS systems even carry dog and cat sized CPR masks for use on animals with an oxygen tank when responding to a fire.

I can understand that your friend was scared-it is traumatic to witness a family member (an yes, dogs are family), needing such strong help.

Like CPR on a human, CPR on a mammal (dog/cat) is not a 100% guarantee of survival, but it can help.

If you do CPR/AED on someone, and they gain consciousness before the ambulance comes, what should be done?

Asked by Re over 6 years ago

If you are using an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) and performing CPR, and the victim regains conciousness--Stop doing CPR.  Leave the AED in place and turned on.  Stay with the victim and be ready to restart CPR again if the vicitm loses conciousness again and stops breathing.  

It is very important that you leave the AED in place and turned on.  No, it will not shock the concious person.  The victim's heart is weak and it may go back into Cardiac Arrest.  If this happens, you want the AED on and ready to go-just in case.

Hey thanks for doing this Q&A! How effective is the Heimlich? Do you think someone who's not formally trained could successfully perform it on a choking person based solely on what they've seen on TV?

Asked by Stern over 6 years ago

Hi Stern,

Thanks for sending me a question!

First, I never recommend doing anything you see on TV.  Rescue maneuvers shown on screen are edited to dramatic effect and the safety of the actor(s).  For example, in the choking scene in Mrs. Doubtfire, you see Robin Williams lifting Peirce Brosnon up so high that they fall backwards.  What you don't see a true Heimlich maneuver where the rescuer is forceably thrusting into the victim's stomach.  It is dramatic to see an actor fall over, it is painful to actually punch him in the gut.

The Heimlich, or Abdominal Thrust, is very effective at relieving choking in people over the age of 1.  Standing behind the victim, you simply place your fist just above the choking person's navel, wrap your other hand around to grasp your fist and give quick, forceful thrusts with an in/up motion.  

A bigger issue is Good Samaratin Law protection which would protect you from losing a lawsuit if you did perform the Heimlich on someone.  Most states require that you have had formal training before you are given Good Samaratin protection.  This means that if you do something you saw on TV-albiet successfully-you are opening yourself up to being liable for injury.  Unless you have, at some point in your life taken a CPR course and learned the skills.  

Ultimatly, it is your decision if you feel you need to become formally trained.  I would suggest it, if only for the peace of mind.



Is it true that when done properly, you're supposed to break ribs doing CPR?

Asked by JOrdy over 6 years ago

Hi Jordy,


While breaking ribs is a very common side-effect of proper CPR (around a 95% break-rate in adults who recieve CPR), it is not the goal of CPR.  In other words, make sure you are pushing very hard (atleast 2" down on anyone over the age of 8) and in the center of the chest.  You may hear/feel a snap or grinding-it is ok.

It is better to break some ribs than allow someone to stay dead.

Are there differences between how you should perform CPR on a man vs. a woman? (Like, because women have breasts, do you have to do the compressions differently?)

Asked by JerBear over 6 years ago

Hi JerBear,

This is actually a very common question.  And no, your technique will not change dependent upon the victims' sex.

CPR is done on bare-skin.  This means that if the cardiac arrest victim is a female, the bra needs to be removed.  When the bra is removed and the female is on her back, to put it delicatly, breast will move East-West, not North-South.  Any 'obstruction,' no matter the size, weight or density, real or after-market, will move to the side and you will have a clear space to put your hands to push.

Remember too that the proper CPR hands are not laying flat along the chest-instead your inter-laced fingers pull your top hand up-forming a 'V."  This 'V' means that you are not touching anything squishy.  :) 

I took a CPR class, and honestly, I forgot virtually all of it within a week. If there are just ONE or TWO rules of thumb to remember, what would they be?

Asked by Oops over 6 years ago

HI "Oops"


Don't worry, most people seem to forget everything within a week.  Here are some Rules of Thumb that will help jog your memory (if the time comes):

1)  If someone is unresponsive, Call 9-1-1 and Get an AED.  (Or, if someone else is there, have them do it).

2)   Push Hard and Fast on the Chest.  

By doing those 2 (actually 3) things, you will be helping the unresponsive person.  And, the AED usually has CPR instructions and a 9-1-1 dispatcher can usually help you with CPR as well.

I hope this helps!

Oh, and a 2nd Q for you:)
If you're able to revive someone via CPR, do they still need medical attention right away (for reasons OTHER than just monitoring their vitals?) In other words, how "out of the woods" is someone who has just been revived?

Asked by Ellen91 over 6 years ago

Hi Again Ellen91!

By just doing CPR, it is unlikely that someone will be revived (I am going to call revivied-concious).  If you have used an AED (Automated External defibrillator), than the chances of the person coming back do increase.  Here is a link to a professional rescue (thank you Bondi Beach):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8tZT2Jx8H0  You can see CPR, the use of an AED, and the person being revivied.  However, they are still in need of medical attention.

Even though the victim is revivied, notice that the AED is left on and the guards continue to assist with breathing.  This is vital as the body is weak and may 'convert' (meaning go back into the faulty heart rhythm).

Anyone who has been unconcious-no matter how long, should be seen by a healthcare provider.

What does the "clear" mean when EMTs say it before using the AED paddles?

Asked by antioch over 6 years ago

Hi Antioch,


When an "EMT" says "Clear" they are telling the rest of the team to not touch the vicitm.  If someone is touching the victim when the AED shock goes through, two things happen:

1)  The person touching the victim will get some of the AED shock

2)  The victim will not get the full power of the shock.

Is it true that you can get sued for performing CPR on someone because they don't consent to it?

Asked by TW42 over 6 years ago


Technically, a person who needs CPR does not have the ability to give/deny consent.  They are unconcious, which legally means they have given you "implied consent."

Now, to be brutally honest, this is America and you can be sued for anything.  If a popular fast-food chain can get sued to too hot coffee, not once, not twice, but three times---

The Good Samaratin Law exists to protect civilians from losing a lawsuit.  However, most states do require that the civilian responder have had some form of CPR training-so, make sure you tak a class.

Have you ever had to perform CPR yourself in an emergency situation and what happened?

Asked by Jer over 6 years ago

Hi Jer,


Yes, I have performed CPR myself.  This is a great question to ask your CPR insructor.  In order to teach CPR, an instructor need not have done CPR to a person-so, it can be like taking driving lessons from someone who just read the book, but has never driven the car.

To protect privacy, I can tell you that I have responded a few times, both professionally and privatly.  I have responed to drownings, car accidents and random public incidents.  In each case, adreniline and training take over.  I will say that having by-standers around who were willing to call 9-1-1 was helpful.  On the other hand, having by-standers around who wanted to, lets say, give their 2-cents, was not as helpful.  I remember one emergency where a person insisted that fanning a person getting CPR would revive them, so I was doing CPR while dodging a person whipping a paperfan in the vicitm's face.  :)  

Are you supposed to do CPR on someone who is choking? If you do the Heimlich first but can't clear the obstruction and the person passes out and is unconscious with their airway still blocked, do you do CPR or Heimlich?

Asked by kenzee over 6 years ago

Good Questions Kenzee,


If someone is choking, and the Heimich fails to clear the airway, then yes, the person will become unconscious.  At this point, lower them to the floor and start CPR.  Make sure someone is calling 9-1-1 and getting an AED (if avaliable).  Your hard and fast compressions on the chest might clear the airway (pressure build-up behind the obstruction).  Continue to give breaths and compressions until help arrives.  

For CPR compressions, is harder always better? And if so, are men naturally better at it because they're generally stronger than women?

Asked by David over 6 years ago

Hi David,


Not nessecarily.  In teaching CPR I have found that performance depends more on fitness than gender.  I have seen small women with proper form out-perform men 3 times their size who thought they could "muscle-through".  No matter the person's gender, they need to have a class with an instructor to learn proper form.  Giving compressions with straight arms and correct body position uses leverage and upper body weight as a ballast.  Without practicing the physics behind a good compression, a person will not be able to perform.

Is there a different protocol for performing CPR on a really obese person? Will it be less effective because of the extra layers of fat?

Asked by DNT over 6 years ago



There is no standard protocol for dealing with a morbidly obese person, though EMS agencies and hospitals may make thier own decisions.

CPR must be performed hard and fast, so, depending on where the layers of fat are, it can mean that the rescuer has to push harder than you would on a person with less fat.

That being said, if I had to chose the 300lb couch potato vs. the 300 lb bodybuilder, I would take the couch potato.  Muscle is harder to move than fat. 

When CPR guidelines change, who prints up all the new posters and do they have to then distribute them to every restaurant / hotel / store where the old ones are hanging?

Asked by Singh.JS over 6 years ago

Hi Singh, JS,

When new guidelines are issued, printing companies will re-design posters and materials.  It is the responsibility of the companies who have the posters displyed to order new ones to replace the old ones.

How many people should be trained in a huge organization on AED's? Rule of Thumb - 20K+ employees with around 1500+ AEDs throughout various facilities in US.

Asked by Greg S. over 6 years ago

HI Greg S.,

There is no generally accepted rule of thumb.  One organization we train for (similarly staffed), goes by 10% of each occupied building.  Some organizations train emergency response teams in fire safety/evacuation and include CPR training with that.  Other organizations host classes and encourage everyone to sign up.  

Keep in mind that if the population of your organization is very fluid (high-turnover, cubicle-sharing. telework), this number may need to go up.  

Make sure you have a plan in place to monitor your AEDs-monthly/quarterly/yearly checks as recommended by either statute or manufacturer.  An AED whose battery is dead, or whose pads are expired will do no one any good.

I would also suggest establishing a company-wide awareness plan.

Keep in mind, this is very general.  I would suggest contacting a training organization that has AED technicians (factory-trained!!) on staff, and ask them to consult with you to develop a more tailored and effective solution.

Your patient had a Cardiac arrest and you are doing a CPR then the Doctor told you to stop but the family insist to continue doing CPR, what will you do?
can you give me some refenence please thanks

Asked by Ange17 over 4 years ago

This would always go back to hospital protocol. Keep in mind that a doctor is trained to recognize clinical and biological death. A family member is not. A doctor is trained to look at the patient as a human body with functions that need to be maintained. A family member looks at the patient as a person with feelings, emotions and life. It is not a "happy" way to look at things, but it is the truth.

Do you think there will be automated / machine-based CPR in the future, or will it always require a human pumping on a person's chest?

Asked by CP about 6 years ago

There is current technology that is purported to assist with CPR. When compressions are being done in odd spaces (stairways, remote areas during evacuation etc...) then artificial means are good. But, automation can never fully replace the human touch. A human will always need to have the sense of the situation which a machine will never have.

As of the new guidelines (released on 10/15/2015, no studies have shown a positive, direct correlation between artificial compressions and improved survival rates when compared to manual compressions).

(Sorry this took so long - this didn't go to my inbox).

For women with large breasts, how do you perform CPR? Do you remove their clothing and let the breasts fall to the side so you can perform CPR?

Asked by Meh over 4 years ago

Yes, all victims, regardless of environment, body type, sex must have CPR done on bare skin. You must remove the clothing (outer, inner, bra etc...) in order to find correct hand placement and minimize the risk of puncture (think underwire in a bra). Also, once an AED is in play, the chest must be bare for safety reasons.

What's the biggest misconception that people have about CPR?

Asked by V.A.T. over 6 years ago


How do you do CPR on a COVID-19 victim

Asked by asdf 6 months ago


I don't agree with removing clothing including bras on women for performing CPR on any person. You are wasting time by doing so. What are your viewpoints?

Asked by Ian K. Watts over 3 years ago


I've noticed in recent videos (both actual & tutorial) a procedure to lift victim's shirt to expose their belly, inspect it, then continue usual CPR procedure. Some return for glances again throughout CPR.
Why is this?

Asked by Lincoln about 3 years ago


How easy is it to learn how to do CPR?

Asked by CAT 8 months ago


Hi, so how should I become CPR certified?

Asked by Jj 4 months ago


What are the steps to become a CPR trainer?

Asked by Stacey almost 2 years ago