Category: CPR

Why should you renew your CPR certification?

September 30, 2014 Travis Smith CPR, CPR Training, First Aid

10628356_927464490603446_2057883816255398546_n (1)Years ago you signed up for a CPR class and you were so proud of yourself for taking that first step in learning the steps to save a life. However, did you know that 50% of those trained in CPR are unable to pass a skills test a year after training? If you are not continually using your skills and performing CPR on a regular basis (i.e., EMT, ER Nurse, paramedic) than chances are that over time, you may forget some of the important stuff! While in graduate school I actually wrote my thesis on customer satisfaction and knowledge retention in CPR classes. I can proudly say that our customers at CPR Choice retain more knowledge than the average CPR student but these skills are IMPORTANT! We are talking about life-saving and the fact is that many people forget important concepts and techniques.

How Long is My CPR Certification Valid?

CPR certifications from the American Heart Association (AHA), Red Cross (ARC) and American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI) is often valid for 2 years from the date of issue. Some certification programs can vary, and it’s important that you check with your instructor to make sure you are aware of the expiration period.  Expirations should be listed on your certification card that is given to you the completion of your course.

Other reasons to renew your CPR certificaiton

Another key reason to keep up with your CPR certification is that science and discoveries are always changing and CPR guidelines are continuously updated every few years. It is important to be aware of how treatments have changed and how those changes affect how we perform CPR.  We highly encourage you to re-take a course if your last certification was prior to 2011; as many changes were made at that time. Also by maintaining your certification you reduce your liability if you ever had to perform CPR. See more information about Good Samaritan Laws here.10624853_926170134066215_8747011700374742124_n

Who Needs CPR Renewal?

Anyone who takes CPR should try their best to maintain their certification. For many occupations, such as healthcare providers (anyone that touches a patient), lifeguards, construction & manufacturing, school personnel, fitness instructors and childcare providers, CPR certification and recertification is a requirement for licensing or to meet OSHA standards. It’s imperative that these personnel maintain their certifications at all times. Failing to to insure there is no lapse in certification can result in termination or loss of licensing.


Invest a small amount of your time and money into taking a CPR class.  When you compare that investment to the life you could be saving, there really is no comparison.

CPR Choice offers classes for everyone; whether it is your first time or 30th time.  We promise to make the class comfortable and enjoyable and to give you tips and tricks to retain your knowledge.  100% of our customers say they feel confident to give CPR if needed after our class.  Sign up for a class today!  We offer American Heart Association and ASHI classes including: BLS for Healthcare Provider, Heartsaver CPR & AED, and Heartsaver First Aid.  These classes cover adult CPR, child CPR and infant CPR as well as conscious choking, unconscious choking and how to use an AED.  You won’t regret making the choice to save lives!


Why Your Company should have an AED

September 28, 2014 Travis Smith AED, CPR, CPR Training

OnSite_Open_with_Case_M5066AThe AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) has a proven track record of saving lives in public places as well as in the workplace.  AEDs are designed to administer a potentially life-saving electric shock to the failing heart in order to restore a regular rhythm. The fact that most of us spend majority of our time within the work place makes it increasingly likely that if we were to suffer from cardiac arrest, we would do so at work. Having an automated external defibrillator available within the workplace, could assist in saving someone’s life. The following are several reasons why every company should have an AED.

Cardiac arrests are sudden, and usually fatal
Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, any time!  Each year sudden cardiac arrest strikes almost 400,000 thousand people in the United States alone.  Most sudden cardiac arrests occur outside of hospitals every year and many come without any warning signs. They happen when the electric impulses within the heart become irregular and erratic.  Sadly, fewer than 5% survive, often because EMS cannot reach them in time. Victims must be treated with in minutes; providing life-saving shocks from an AED and proper CPR.

Chances of survival decrease every minute
After someone has suffered from a cardiac arrest, their chance of survival decreases by approximately 10% with every minute that passes. Although you may feel as though waiting for 911 to arrive and use an AED is a safer course of action, the reality is that the quicker an AED is used along with proper CPR, the more likely that a regular heart rhythm can be restored. Having a readily accessible AED within a company’s building could give the victim the best possible chance of survival.

Learning how to use one is easy
In the case of an emergency, absolutely anyone can learn to use an AED.  AEDs are for the ordinary person in the extraordinary moment!  CPR Choice offers CPR and AED training on-site at your workplace.  We can train ANYONE, including the environmental service staff, warehouse worker, office employees, or even the CEO of the company. By having an AED available within your workplace, a company allows their employees and customers the opportunity to increase their safety by ensuring help can be given immediately, if a cardiac incident were to take place.

aed caseYou can’t hurt someone or worsen the situation by using an AED
AED’s are awesome.  They contain an internal EKG monitoring system that will read the victim’s heart rhythm and will only deliver a shock if medically necessary.  Attempting to use an AED will not cause any damage to the victim, as it can only give you more information than you already have. This means you don’t have to worry about accidentally shocking a colleague’s if they don’t need it.

It’s always better to be prepared
Many business owners that I talk to will say, “We’ve never had anyone go down on the job and odds are it’s not going to happen”.  Well, do you have a fire extinguisher at work?  How about a security alarm system or camera?  Have you ever had a fire or burglary?  Hopefully you never experience a medical emergency, fire or burglary but having the tools to deal with the incident is necessary just in case of an emergency. Having an AED at your worksite will mean that you are prepared to save a customer or employee’s life should the worst happen.

CPR Choices offers training and sales of AEDs to businesses. We currently offer on-site training classes in Knoxville, Maryville, Oak Ridge, Lenoir City, Bristol, Johnson City, Kingsport, Morristown and surrounding areas of East Tennessee. Call for pricing 865-548-1500 or visit

aed components


October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Month!

September 28, 2014 Cheryl Smith AED, Awareness and Prevention, CPR, Heart Health

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death among adults over the age of 40 in the United States and other countries. In the U.S. alone, approximately 424,000 people of all ages experience SCA each year (more than 1,000/day) and 19 out of 20 victims die.


SCA is a sudden or unexpected pulseless condition attributed to the cessation of cardiac mechanical activity.  It is usually caused by ventricular fibrillation, an abnormality in the heart’s electrical system.  When SCA occurs, blood stops flowing to the brain, the heart and the rest of the body and the person collapses.  In fact, the person is clinically dead and will remain so unless someone helps immediately.

A heart attack and SCA are not one in the same.  A heart attack occurs when part of the hearts blood supply is reduced or blocked, causing the heart muscle to become injured or die.  A heart attack victim is awake and may complain about symptoms.  The SCA victim is not awake and will need immediate attention.

SCA can strike anyone, anytime.  Seconds count-timely and appropriate care will substantially improve survival rates.   In the event of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest:


  • Call 911.  Give specific details; “I have a female, approx. 45 years old, experiencing chest pain
  • Tell someone to get the AED.
  • Begin doing chest compressions at a rate of 100 per minute.  Push hard and fast in between the nipples on the lower portion of the sternum.

What you can do to prepare:

  • Learn CPR and AED functionality.  Get your friends and family involved too.  Remember, over 80% of cardiac arrests occur at home, which means a life you save could very well be a loved one!
  • Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Access– spread the word on why having an AED at your work, school or community center can be the key to survival.  CPR Choice sells AEDs and provides hands on training, as well as guidance on internal procedures for the best utilization.

Having confidence in your ability to perform CPR and to use an AED is the best way to prevent unnecessary deaths. CPR Choice is your source to learn the skills needed to save a life!  It is a very small price to pay versus watching the ones you love pass in front of you. Sign up today!


Am I Liable if I give CPR?

September 17, 2014 Cheryl Smith AED, CPR, Hands-Only CPR, Liability

Almost every day, someone shares their concerns and fears of being held liable if they were to give CPR to a bystander.  It does seem like people can be sued for almost anything these days.  Have you read about consumers suing restaurants for causing them to be overweight?  Or criminals that sue their own victims for injuries caused while committing the crime?

With this sort of litigiousness being prevalent in our culture, many people tend to be cautious with their interactions with others. When it comes to giving someone CPR or first aid many fear their liability.  What happens if they break a rib or if the person isn’t resuscitated?  In the state of Tennessee there are protections in place for those who are, in good faith, attempting to provide assistance during an emergency.  Most states have these safe guards in place, they are usually referred to as Good Samaritan laws.


Tennessee’s Good Samaritan Law protects ANY person who provides emergency rescue, CPR or first aid from liability if they meet certain conditions:

  • The rescuer must be acting in good faith.  This means he or she is providing care to the person without any motive other than saving the person’s life or keeping them from further harm.  They may not receive any rewards or monetary donation.
  • The situation must be a potential life-threatening emergency and the care must be necessary to treat the injury.  Examples of life saving treatment are giving CPR, applying pressure for blood loss, giving rescue breaths, providing first aid or performing abdominal thrusts to a choking victim.
  • Care must be provided on a voluntary basis.  The caregiver must not have legal obligation to provide help nor can they be paid for providing assistance. A healthcare provider (i.e, paramedic, nurse, physician) that is on duty is not protected under Good Samaritan laws.  However, a healthcare provider that stops at the scene of an accident and provides first aid (while not on duty) IS protected.
  • You may not commit gross negligence.  The caregiver must not deliberately act in a way that would cause harm to the victim. This could include performing skills that you are not trained to perform.

The best way to protect yourself is to get certified in CPR and First Aid by taking a class from an authorized training center.  Keep your certification current, most certifications last 2 years.  As long as you are acting with true intentions of trying to save someone’s life,  you are not held liable.  If you have not been trained, please call 911 and get an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)!

good samaritan

Good Samaritan Act – Article 4 ARS.#32-1471

Health care providers and other persons administering emergency aid are not liable. Any health care provider licensed or certified to practice as such in this state or elsewhere or any other person who renders emergency care at a public gathering or at a scene of an emergency occurrence gratuitously and in good faith, shall not be liable for any civil or other damages as the result of any act or omission by which person rendering the emergency care, or as the result of any act or failure to act to provide or arrange for further medical treatment or care for the injured persons, unless such person, while rendering such care, is guilty of gross negligence.

To read the entire Tennessee Good Samaritan Act, click here.

This article is not intended to be legal advice

Am I required to take CPR?

September 17, 2014 Cheryl Smith AED, CPR, CPR Training, First Aid

Who Needs CPR & First Aid Training?

Everyone needs it!  Our goal is to deliver high quality training and to create a casual, fun atmosphere in both our CPR & First Aid classes.  We make sure that all students feel confident in their ability to perform the life saving skills we teach.  Our experienced instructors can help ANYONE learn CPR!  We offer American Heart Association classes including Basic Life Support BLS for Healthcare Providers and Heartsaver CPR/First Aid classes.

Learn CPR

Typical Professions that may require CPR or First Aid Training:

All Healthcare Providers
Doctors, Dentists, Registered Nurses (RNs), Chiropractors, Physical & Occupational Therapists, Clinical Nurse Assistants (CNA), Dental Hygeinists, Registered Dental Assistants (RDA), Medical students, Other Hospital & Healthcare Professionals

City & County Officials
Emergency Medical Techs (EMTs), Paramedics, Firefighters, Police Officers, Municipal & Federal Employees, Power & Water Employees

School Teachers, Coaches, Daycare Staff, Sunday School Teachers, Youth Organization Leaders, Counselors, Student Teachers

Bank Employees, Construction Workers, Restaurant Staff, Hotel/Hospitality staff, Retail Staff, Manufacturing Personnel

Group Fitness Instructors, Personal Trainers, Lifeguards, Boy & Girl Scouts, Community Associations, Foster Parents, Church Staff

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires many occupations to maintain current training in CPR and First Aid. Federal OSHA standard 1910.151 states: “In the absence of an infirmary, clinic or hospital in near proximity to the workplace which is used for the treatment of all injured employees, person or persons shall be adequately trained to render first aid.” Additionally, many employers want their employees trained, even if it is not required.

Check out our calendar to find a class for individuals or complete the form for on-site group training.  We guarantee it will be the best CPR class you have ever taken!  We currently serve the Knoxville, Maryville and     Tri-cities area of Tennessee (TN).  Visit one of our websites for specific information for your area.


On-Site CPR Training for Businesses

September 11, 2014 Cheryl Smith AED, CPR, CPR Training, First Aid

Businesses are continuing to recognize the importance of convenience for their customers and potential customers!   Whether it is shopping online, having items delivered to us at home or at our place of employment- we are all looking for ways to save time.  CPR Choice strives to offer just that – CONVENIENCE!  We can arrange classes in your home or office.  We teach for hundreds of gyms, medical offices, daycares, manufacturers, construction companies and more EVERY YEAR.  Make sure that you are OSHA compliant!


Information About CPR Training

On our websites, there are a couple of links available “Calendar & Registration” and “On Site Group Training“.  The “Calendar & Registration” tabs provide a description of all the types of training available, as well as a calendar of scheduled classes.   We offer a variety of locations across Knoxville, Maryville and the Tri-Cities. We can also offer on-site trainings customized to fit your needs and more information is available under the “On Site Group Training” link.   After clicking on this link, there are some specific instructions on how to schedule and customize a group on-site training class.

Classes Offered for Businesses

  • Adult/Child/Infant CPR
  • First Aid
  • AED training
  • Pediatric CPR & First Aid
  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  • Emergency Oxygen
  • Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers
  • Heartsaver CPR & AED

Convenience is the KEY

CPR Choice provides all the training materials (manikins, AED Trainer, Videos, CPR Cards, etc.), absolutely no inconvenience to the client. Group and Onsite CPR trainings are designed to be as simple and easy for the client as possible. We cater your needs!  Do you have several different shifts, including nights and weekends?  We will accommodate!

We would love to speak to you more about CPR Choice and our on-site CPR training.  Please contact Cheryl Smith at to schedule an on-site group class at your location or visit our website to register for a class as an individual at one of our many locations. Learn more about us: CPR Choice, LLC

Sometimes Big Things Happen to Little People!

September 10, 2014 Cheryl Smith Awareness and Prevention, Children's Health, Choking, CPR


School is in session and schedules are back on track!  I love summer, but I also love the feel of fall and the feeling of settling back into a routine.  As we head back to school, daycare, or private schools we need to be diligent that our caregivers have adequate Pediatric First Aid CPR AED Training.

CPR Choice offers Pediatric Heartsaver CPR/AED & First Aid training.  The course is designed to meet the regulatory requirements for childcare workers in all 50 United States. It teaches childcare providers and others to respond to and manage illnesses and injuries in a child or infant in the first few minutes until professional help arrives. It covers first aid skills such as finding the problem, stopping bleeding, bandaging and using an Epinephrine pen, as well as child CPR AED, infant CPR and optional modules in adult CPR AED, child mask, infant mask and Asthma Care Training for Child Care Providers.

Course Content includes:

  • Pediatric CPR AED and chokingdaycare cpr
  • CPR and AED for children
  • How to help a choking child
  • CPR for infants
  • How to help a choking infant
  • CPR and AED for adults (optional)
  • How to help a choking
  • Pediatric first aid basics
  • Illnesses and injuries
  • Bleeding and bandaging
  • Allergic reactions
  • How to use an epinephrine pen
  • Asthma
  • Drowning
  • Bites and stings
  • Burns

This class is offered by request only. We teach CPR & First Aid for daycares, private schools, gyms, churches, and childcare providers.  Please contact us via email or phone 865-548-1500 for more info.


CPR-Large Crowds, Know What To Do??

September 4, 2014 Cheryl Smith AED, CPR, First Aid

UT football

It’s football time in Tennessee!  We love this time of year- football games, bon fires, corn mazes and the approaching colors of fall.  Our, University of Tennessee, football season opener was sold out on Sunday, August 31st and with over 100,000 people in the stands I always wonder who’s prepared to help in the event of a cardiac emergency.

According to the American Heart Association, less than one-third of sudden cardiac arrest victims are administered immediate CPR from bystanders. Usually this is because people are untrained or do not feel comfortable putting their mouth on a stranger’s mouth.  However, the window of opportunity is four to six minutes.  Someone must act before it’s too late!  If a family member, friend or infant had a cardiac or first aid emergency could you respond appropriately?  Here are some things that you could do:

  • Immediately have someone call 911.  Try to give specific details; “I have a female, approx. 60 years old, experiencing chest pain, we are in section 110, row 5”
  • Tell someone to get the AED.  Neyland Stadium has 4 AEDs in each of their first aid stations.  The stations are staffed by medical doctors, nurses and other qualified personnel. Trained first-aid teams are also located throughout the stadium.  For a map of the stations, click on the link above.
  • Begin doing chest compressions at a rate of 100 per minute.  Push hard and fast in between the nipples on the lower portion of the sternum

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, is a proven life saver!  When someone goes into cardiac arrest it prevents blood and oxygen from entering the brain and heart.  Time is precious and knowing CPR will allow the victim extra time until the emergency medical response team (911) arrives.  If you can begin CPR when someone becomes unconscious you add valuable minutes to their life and may be able to keep them alive until more advanced personnel arrive.

Orange Knoxville cpr

Get informed, devote the time, and equip yourself with the skills to help save a life.   CPR Choice offers a variety of classes and can accommodate almost any schedule. Enroll in a class today, someone’s life may depend on it!

Airway Obstruction in Infants

May 23, 2014 Cheryl Smith Children's Health, Choking, CPR

Avoiding Airway Obstruction in Infants

How can you make your home a safer place for your infant and take steps to avoiding airway obstruction?

  • Check toys to make sure they’re age appropriate and don’t have small parts that could be swallowed by an infant.
  • Check toys regularly for damage
  • Avoid using infant seats, car seats, strollers, carriers, or swings for regular naps and beds.  These things could put infants in a position where their heads could fall leading to airway obstruction.
  • Avoid any loose bedding, pillows, or soft objects in the crib or bassinet.
  • Avoid over bundling, overdressing or covering an infant’s face or head.
  • Avoid using wedges or other positioners for sleeping
  • Avoid sharing your bed with your infant; they are less likely to suffocate in a crib or bassinet.
  • Use a firm mattress for infant, anything to soft like a couch should not be used as a bed an infant.
  • Place infants on their backs to sleep.
  • Immunizing infants and breastfeeding has also been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Always supervise young children while they’re eating.
  • Avoid small food that could be a choking hazard for infants such as, popcorn, marshmallows, hard candy, chewing gum, raw carrots and apples to name a few.

Should an infant’s airway become obstructed act quickly.  If the child is coughing, allow the child to cough and monitor.  If coughing becomes ineffective assess the child’s conscious level.


For infants under 1:

  • If the child is conscience give up to five back blows followed by five chest thrusts.  In a seated position, support the infant at the jaw and tip them in a head-downwards position to let gravity aid in removing the object.
  • Deliver 5 sharp blows with the heel of your hand to the middle of the back (in-between the shoulder blades)
  • Check to see if the item has been dislodged, if not continue the blows up to 5 times.
  • After 5 unsuccessful blows begin chest thrusts. Support the infant in a head-down, face up position. Deliver five thrusts; these are similar to CPR chests thrusts but slower and sharper.
  • If child becomes unconscious lay the child down and look for the object in their mouth, if you can see it and remove it try to do so with the sweep of your finger.
  • If again unsuccessful begin CPR

For more information on airway obstruction visit our website or take a CPR class.  We offer infant and child CPR classes in Knoxville & Maryville!  Sign up for the American Heart Association (AHA) Heartsaver CPR class today!



Signs & Symptoms of Stroke

April 11, 2014 Cheryl Smith CPR, Disease Prevention, Heart Health, Men's Health, Women's Health

Stroke is a medical condition effecting the blood vessels or arteries within, or leading into the brain. Stroke happens when one or more of these vessels become blocked, leak, or bursts.  This subsequently leads to tissue damage or death in the affected area of the brain due to lack of oxygen and vital nutrients gained from normal blood supply.  There are two types of stoke: One caused by a blockage due to a clot (Ischemic stroke), the other caused by a leak or rupture within the vessel wall (hemorrhagic stroke).  Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States behind Heart Disease and Cancer. If you or someone you know appears to be suffering from symptoms of a stroke it is imperative to call 911 as soon as possible, time is a vital factor in preventing or limiting brain damage, paralysis, or death.


Symptoms commonly found in those suffering from a stroke include

  • Numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, usually effecting one side of the body.
  • Slurred speech, loss of balance, poor coordination
  • Confusion, loss of comprehension and understanding, personality change
  • Rapid or irregular breathing, unequal pupil dilation, pounding pulse
  • Sudden onset of severe headache and sensitivity to sound or light or loss of vision

Though anyone can suffer from a stroke, it is more common in those above the age of 65.  Additional risk factors include: cardiac disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking.  Some patients may suffer from stroke symptoms for a short period of time.  These temporary symptoms may be an indicator of Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) or a “mini-stroke.” TIA’s are often a warning sign for an impending larger stroke so these symptoms should not be ignored and the person suffering should seek medical attention.

There are a few important standard precautions to take while you and the stoke victim are waiting for EMS to arrive.

  • Monitor the victims’ airway, breathing and circulation. If possible, note the time of stroke and be sure to relay this information to the EMTs
  • If tolerated, try to lay the victim down so his or her head is flat on the ground in order to maximize blood flow to the brain
  • Never give the victim anything to eat or drink. His or her airway may become compromised due to paralysis. This may also lead to complications during surgery if needed.

These will undoubtedly be frightening moments for the stroke patient as loss of normal mental and motor function onset. It is important to provide emotional support in a calm collective manor. Continue to communicate even if his or her ability to respond is limited and never comment on possible long term effects of the episode.  Remember, stroke is a time sensitive medical condition so it’s important to seek medical attention at the first signs or symptoms. In some cases the victim may lose consciousness and pulse, if this should happen it is important to activate the emergency response system and begin quality CPR. Focus on pushing hard and fast on the center of the victims’ chest.

Learn CPR today.  For a schedule of classes please visit out calendar to register.  We offer Basic Life Support (BLS) for healthcare providers as well as community Heartsaver CPR & AED classes designed for anyone.


Why Should You Choose CPR Choice?

CPR Choice, Knoxville Real Testimonials

"Best CPR Class I've ever attended."

"This is the BEST CPR class I have ever been to. As an RN, I’ve been to lots over the years. HIGHLY recommend this one!"

"I highly recommend CPR Choice for healthcare provider certification! It was easy to schedule and Cheryl kept the class interesting and informative. This was by far my best experience taking a CPR class. Thanks Cheryl!"

"I have been taking an annual CPR class for about eight years now, and never before now have I felt like I had such a complete grasp on the material."

"Best CPR class I have taken as an RN in 10 yrs! The instructor, Kristy, was the best instructor! Systematic approach to teaching with tons of energy and obvious interest in teaching CPR. Thank you!"

"I'll be back in two years for renewal! Thanks CPR Choice!"


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