Victoria Y. Buggs, a registered nurse and Anne Arundel County resident who originally hails from Gary, Indiana, knows the importance of becoming certified in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and First Aid. Buggs is a U.S. Army retiree and two-time combat veteran who worked in hospitals. She founded Center for Health Educators and Safety Specialists, LLC in 2015. It is located at 313 Crain Highway South in Glen, Burnie, Maryland.
But many people who are not medical professionals were reminded how important CPR is when Buffalo Bills player, Damar Hamlin, collapsed on the football field during a televised game on January 2, 2023. Denny Kellington, assistant athletic trainer for the team, performed CPR on the football player who suffered cardiac arrest.
Dion Dawkins, offensive tackle for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL) said, “Denny Kellington —let’s praise this name and person for reviving Our Brother Damar on the field. Denny gave CPR and chest compressions to get his Heart Back Beating #DennyKellington And also, thank you to all the doctors and medical professionals that have helped and assisted.”
While commenting about the occurrence, Buggs mentioned that God was in total control of the situation in which Kellington was used to save Hamlin’s life through performing CPR.
“CPR is a skill that everyone should learn because you never know when you’re going to need it,” Buggs said. “I just think that this part of medical training is undervalued. I’ve been in a situation where my daughter swallowed a quarter. As a healthcare provider, I was able to activate EMS (emergency medical services) and even tried to provide her with the Heimlich maneuver.”
Buggs explained that sometimes people get nervous when a person is relying on another individual to administer lifesaving measures. She decided to teach other people how to perform CPR without being so anxious and nervous, regardless of who that person may be amid a medical emergency.
The expert noted the center of a person’s chest is dense and hard. A normal CPR cycle includes 30 quality chest compressions at a rate of 100-120 beats per minute. The depth of compressions varies depending on if the individual is an adult, child or infant. A person delivering CPR must compress the chest hard and fast. Two rescue breaths, one breath per second, must follow.
Buggs provides CPR services and safety training to enable a diverse population of individuals to become certified in CPR and First Aid. Services are provided in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Instructor courses are offered across the U.S.
“I train and certify individuals in emergency safety training, which includes CPR, First Aid, active shooter, Mental Health First Aid for health care providers, childcare providers, and anyone that wants to learn the techniques of CPR, not to be certified, but they want to learn, such as individuals that are welcoming new babies. They are caregivers,” she said.
Youth who typically range around 11 years old and up, graduating high school students, pharmacists, and other people who work in the healthcare field are among additional individuals who need CPR training for their professions. Buggs utilizes a video and implements hands-on training using trainee mannequins during classes that she teaches.
The expert brought up an important point about providing CPR to strangers due to legal concerns and safety. Hands-only CPR can be administered when a barrier device, which is a form of personal protective equipment, is not available.
“This encourages individuals to participate in giving CPR to a stranger or victim that’s unresponsive, in respiratory distress, or in cardiovascular distress. They would say, ‘Okay, I don’t have to give two rescue breaths mouth-to-mouth, but I can do continuous compressions, which is very important because we will minimize interruptions of blood flow to the brain.’ Every time we compress the chest, the blood is traveling throughout the body.”
An automated defibrillator (AED) corrects an arrhythmia, which is an abnormal heartbeat back to a regular heartbeat, according to Buggs. She explained that oftentimes an untrained individual will not operate an AED. A typical CPR class includes AED training.
Buggs wishes that more people would realize how important knowing CPR can be in an emergency situation. She stated that time is of the essence when it comes to increasing the chances of a favorable outcome during resuscitation, although saving a person’s life depends on the situation.
“CPR is impactful when the return of spontaneous circulation is achieved. We want this person to get their pulse back, we want this person to start breathing on their own, and we want them to get the post care that they need,” Buggs said. “So that is impactful when you can do CPR and bring the pulse and heart rhythm back.”
The Center for Health Educators and Safety Specialists, LLC’s website is https://ctr4hess.com/.