CPR is one of the most important facets of first aid and it can save many lives but as with any other type of lifesaving tool or procedure it must be used with exception and with mind paid to your surroundings. Admittedly, the vast majority of situations in which CPR is applied, especially those covered in online CPR training, are in a typical location with adequate oxygen and air pressure. While these conditions are certainly ideal, they are not what we always have to work with. Any good online CPR class will prepare you for some of the worst conditions, and in this case we’re talking about elevated or low oxygen environments.

Mount Hood
Basics of Online CPR Training – High Altitude Environments

As you already know, the body requires an adequate amount of oxygen in order to function and there are actually several circumstances in which you could find yourself deprived of the basic amenities that mother nature freely offers to most. For example you could be living or vacationing at a higher altitude, such as a mountain town, or perhaps you’re on an expedition in the wild. Then again it could be as simple as an emergency on an airplane. The potential situations are virtually endless, but it all comes down to one very basic question: can you still perform CPR?
The first thing we would need to address is the concept of a high altitude environment. Essentially, we’re talking about a location that is sitting between 2700 and 37000 meters above sea level, and while this is a pretty rare occurrence it does happen and you do need to make sure that you are ready for it. Something to keep in mind is that we’re not talking about the effects of CPR on the victim or patient, but rather the effects that will be predominant in the rescuer.

Mountain ClimberCPR Effects on the Rescuer

The lack of oxygen at higher altitudes will cause notable fatigue to the individual performing it, namely a reduction in arterial blood oxygen saturation. In addition to that it can cause light headedness, fatigue, and several other adverse effects, none of which would be beneficial or desirable in this type of environment. In other words, it might have more negative effects than positive, which is not desirable in any situation.

The solution of course would be to utilize mechanical implement such as the advanced airway, which is something that you will be learning about in your online CPR class. It is strongly recommended that the advanced airway be carried by all potential rescuers, but even more so when you are entering a high altitude environment. Those who find themselves unable to contend with the fatigue will definitely benefit from carrying such a device.

Want to know more? Sign up for an online CPR class today whether you’re new or simply trying for your recertification. It’s a move that could save a life.

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