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Who has actually saved someone using CPR ?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ok, tell us what it was like from the first "Gag," to the first breath!
post #2 of 8
I've never had to perform CPR myself, but was a professional rescuer (lifeguard) for a number of years. i just wanted to clear up one common misconeption about CPR. The purpose of CPR is NOT to start someone's heart again or get them to "come around." All it is capable of doing is getting some oxygenated blood to the brain after the person stops breathing and their heart goes into ventricular fibrillation. In reality you don't get scenarios when you're doing CPR on someone and they start waking up the next moment. The only thing that can get their heart going again is a defibrillator (ya know, paddles, "clear!", zap!) When someone has a rather weak pulse and you perform CPR on them, you may actually stop their heart from beating. It's important to check for a pulse for several seconds before you begin with compressions.
post #3 of 8
Just read someone's post from the other CPR thread about the new certification not checking for pulse. That's pretty interesting. Certainly it would be a greater danger to think you had felt a pulse and be wrong. Alright, enough of my blabbing. On to the first hand stories.
post #4 of 8
That was my thread. When we used to be diligent about pulse checks in aerobics classes, we would have students take their pulse periodically and call out a number {stupid}. You would not believe the positions I saw people's hands in. Nowhere near where the pulse should be taken. And yet they'd be yelling out 25! Yikes!
The real question I was asking in a round about way in that thread was if anyone has witnessed a heart attack at a ski resort.

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #5 of 8
I have performed CPR twice, and both times was successful in keeping the victims oxygenated to the point where they were able to accept advanced life support when the ambulance arrived. I had been certified as an EMT. They did not occur at a ski resort, but there is no reason why it couldn’t happen at one. I have provided first aid to numerous skiers before the ski patrol arrived.

Victim #1 4th of July, 1980
The subject was an over weight middle aged male who had been drinking heavily on the beach. He collapsed just before I arrived. No pulse not breathing. Now in the early 80s we did not have the one way CPR masks that we have now….so the next part is a little gross cuz the guy pucked. The victim’s grandmother was giving me beer to wash out my mouth between breaths. Probably looked a little weird to see an officer in uniform swigging beer. I had time to take the swigs, and spit it out, because we were doing two rescuer CPR. The guy doing the compressions was a doctor that didn’t have a clue as to what he was doing...giving compressions as I was trying to put breaths in. The guy lived for another 8 hours but had another heart attack in the hospital and died. The 5 minutes of CPR seemed like forever.

Victim #2 December 23, 1994
In this case the victim was my mom. She had not been feeling well and I went over to visit. She put her head down on the table while I was out of the room. My father, who has suffered a number of strokes, didn’t realize anything was wrong. I came back into the room and noticed her position and blue color. She had no pulse and was not breathing. I carried her into another room for better light and a flat surface. My dad called 9-1-1. I performed CPR on her for about 8 minutes and could hear ribs cracking as she was an old lady with brittle bones. When the paramedics arrived they still could not find any vital signs. They moved her out to the ambulance to defib and to put in an airway. She lived another year almost to the day. Her quality of life for that last year was better than she had for years…and she got to hold my youngest son, who was born a few months later.

Other than responding to the title of this thread, the reason why I wanted too share this with you all is two fold.

CPR can be a little gross but Learn the skills…It may be YOUR mom, your wife or best friend who’s life you save.

Be prepared for the unexpected…I carry latex gloves and a tiny CPR mask in my pack.
post #6 of 8
I had the opportunity to perform CPR on a neighbor gentleman a few years back. In his late 50's with a heart condition, shoveling snow...

I remember pulling dentures out of his mouth... the stench of his breath nearly causing me to puke... and the sound/feel of his ribs cracking while I did chest compressions...

Sadly, he was doa at the hospital (so it doesn't qualify as a "life-saving" episode of cpr)... note: He was probably already dead when the other neighbors found him and came to me for assistance, but you gotta try.

Also, it's amazing how when the moment arrives and the need arises the training you have is just *there*... you just DO what needs to be done.

hmmmm... (at least we tried)
post #7 of 8
How about one from the other side of the CPR mask? Are there any Bears out there who are members of the Zipper Club like me? Or as one elderly man in my rehab program said "Wear that scar proudly. There's lots that never got the chance." Actually, I didn't recieve CPR until the paramedics arrived, so I don't know if this qualifies since none of my 'rescuers' knew CPR. So, I guess I'm the bad example that turned out OK. Or perhaps God just decided there were a few more mountains I needed to ski......
post #8 of 8
I'd like to correct a statement that elouns made to the effect that only defibrillation can restart the heart. In ventricular fibrillation, there is a lot of uncoordinated myocardial activity and if it is sustained, then it is fatal. The defibrillation current causes generalized depolarization, resulting in cessation of the useless contactions. It is spontaneous focal activity that restarts the heart. So, keep doing CPR in an arrest, even if there isn't a defibillator available. It serves to oxygenate the heart muscle and hopefully, promote spontaneous recovery. Of course, if
Vfib is the cause you probably won't be successful without a zapper, but there are other cases where the ECG shows a flat line rather than fibrillation where CPR can be effective. That having been said, advanced cardiac life support has a greater chance of success. With this, one uses IV lines and drugs, endotracheal tubes, defibrillators, pacemakers, etc. I've been involved in several cases, but the two most memorable involved cases where the arrest was discovered in surgery, so they represent ACLS
and both patients lived and got out of the hospital. Apparently, the best place to have an arrest is in Seattle, because a large portion of the population knows CPR.
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