Trail Safety – CPR Basics

Trail Safety – CPR Basics

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    Trail running serves as one of the best ways to escape the rush of city life and forget about our everyday responsibilities. Most trails are quite desolate and this unfortunately increases the risk of getting injured without immediate help available. Knowing the basic skills of CPR might just help you in future when an emergency presents itself.

    1. Always first assess the scene and make sure that it is safe for you to approach the victim.
    2. Check the victim’s responsiveness by calling his name/tapping him on his shoulder. If he is not breathing normally or is unresponsive, call for help immediately.
    3. If he/she is unresponsive, start with CPR immediately. The universal abbreviation used for CPR is CAB:

    C– Chest COMPRESSIONS. Place your hands in the centre of the victim’s chest, lock your elbows and push down hard and fast. Give 30 compressions, at a tempo faster than 1 compression per minute.


    A – Open the AIRWAY by tilting the head slightly backwards. Do not overextend the neck.

    A – Open the AIRWAY

    B – Pinch the nose and cover the victim’s mouth with yours and give an effective BREATH. Make sure the chest rises. Administer one breath every 5-6 seconds, each breath lasting 1 second.

    4. Continue this cycle until help arrives or until the victim wakes up.

    As soon as the medical team arrives, they will take over the procedure and use a defibrillator if necessary. Remember be safe on the trails!

    Article by Lené van Heerden (Physiotherapist)
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    Image: ©2012 Nicky Swanevelder

    Lené van Heerden
    As a physiotherapist Lené works with people in all walks of life, taking part in almost any and every type of physical activity. More often than not they find themselves in more pain than what you can ever imagine. Working with these people energizes her, but it is also poses a great challenge. Through this she has learnt a lot about the prevention and management of injuries. Lené will be providing trail runners with valuable tips and techniques to avoid injuries and to enhance their performance on the trails! Trail Running is my ticket to switching off my phone, getting dirty and experiencing nature the way it was intended.