The Triton

Editor's Pick

Sea Sick: Think you know CPR? Take this quiz


Sea Sick: by Keith Murray

I am often surprised by the number of people I encounter who tell me they know how to perform CPR. When I teach a class, I start off by asking who is certified. And often students will request the “fast class”.

When I hear this, I quiz them to see how much they really know, and to show them how much they really don’t.

Please take a minute and complete this quiz. Have the members of your crew take the same quiz and see how they do. Find the answers below. Scores of about 90 percent or better get an A. Anyone who scores below 75 percent should schedule an onboard CPR AED First Aid refresher class.

CPR quiz

  1. When performing CPR on a 65-year-old woman who is not breathing, you hear ribs break. Should you stop?
  2. While performing CPR, the victim vomits. Does this mean they are alive and you should stop CPR?
  3. How fast should compressions be when performing CPR? In other words, how many compressions per minute?
  4. What is the proper depth of a compression when performing CPR on an adult?
  5. You mistakenly connect someone to an AED who is alive and breathing, and you push the shock button. Will the AED injure them?
  6. What does CPR stand for?
  7. What does AED stand for?
  8. Where is the heart located?
  9. What song is it that both the American Heart Association and British Heart Association suggest using when performing CPR because its beat is the proper speed for compressions?
  10. Can you use an AED on someone who is wet?
  11. Can you use an AED on someone with a hairy chest?
  12. Can you use an AED on someone with a pacemaker?
  13. Can you use an AED on someone who is 8 months pregnant?
  14. Can you use an AED on a 1-year-old child?
  15. True or false: In the United States, performing CPR on a person in cardiac arrest often results in a lawsuit.
  16. When performing mouth-to-mouth, what is the proper number of compressions to breaths?
  17. One of your crew is shocked by the shore power cord and still touching the energized cord. Can you perform CPR on them?
  18. Could CPR save your life if you are in cardiac arrest?
  19. Should CPR be performed on a person who is not breathing and still in bed?
  20. Are cardiac arrest and a heart attack the same?


Scroll down for the answers.




Quiz answers

These are the answers to the CPR quiz in this month’s SeaSick column.

  1. Don’t stop. Breaking ribs may occur. If you can save them with CPR and an AED, the ribs will heal.
  2. Vomiting is not a sign of life. If they vomit, tilt the head, clear the airway and resume compressions if they are not breathing.
  3. 100 to 120 compressions per minute. About 2 per second.
  4. Adults 2-2.4 inches, children 2 inches, babies 1.5 inches.
  5. No. AEDs are designed to only shock people whose hearts have stopped working effectively. AEDs will only shock victims whose hearts need to be shocked to restore a healthy rhythm.
  6. CPR = Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
  7. AED = Automated External Defibrillator
  8. The heart is located between the right and left lungs, in the middle of the chest between the imaginary nipple line.
  9. The song “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees is 100 beats per minute and is the proper speed for compressions.
  10. Yes, but you must dry the area where the pads go first.
  11. Yes, but you must shave the area where the pads go first.
  12. Yes, as long as they are not breathing. Connect them and follow the voice prompts.
  13. Yes, as long as they are not breathing. Connect them and follow the voice prompts.
  14. Yes. Ideally you will use pediatric pads or a pediatric key to reduce the energy. If you do not have these, then place the adult pads in the center of the child’s chest and the center of the child’s back and follow the AED voice prompts.
  15. False. There are both federal and state “Good Samaritan” laws that protect the rescuer.
  16. 30 compressions and two breaths. Ideally, you should have a barrier device between mouths, such as a pocket mask.
  17. Always make certain the scene is safe. In this situation, make certain the power is off before going near the injured person.
  18. No. CPR buys you time by moving blood that carries oxygen to the brain, the heart and other parts of the body. It’s the shock from the AED that gets the heart beating again.
  19. CPR should always be performed on the floor. You must have a hard surface and you must have your body weight over top for good quality compressions.
  20. No. A heart attack is a plumbing problem and occurs when part of the heart’s blood supply is reduced or blocked, causing the heart muscle to become injured or die. Cardiac arrest is an electrical problem when the heart stops beating.

Now, let’s rate your score.

No questions wrong: You are a pro. You should have been a doctor.

One or two questions wrong: Not bad. You still get an “A”.

Three or four questions wrong: You get a “B” for this test, but should brush up on your skills.

Five or more questions wrong: You need emergency CPR training. Schedule a class “stat” as your CPR skills need first aid.

Please share this little test with the rest of the crew, other yachtie friends and family. Learning CPR and how to use an AED is a skill that everyone should know as it could save a life.

Trained as an emergency medical technician, Keith Murray now owns The CPR School, which provides onboard CPR, AED and first-aid training as well as AED sales and service ( Comments are welcome below.

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