to expect my DH to learn how to do CPR

(84 Posts)
Rissolesfortea Tue 18-Feb-14 15:04:16

watching a programme on tv recently where someone did cpr on someone and saved their life I asked my DH if he would know what to do in such a situation. He said he wouldn't have a clue.

I told him to google it in case he ever needed to do it but he just shrugged and carried on watching tv.

AIBU or is he?

Joules68 Tue 18-Feb-14 15:07:27

you cant just google it then expect to be able to actually doit correctly if the need arised!!!

yabu.....he needs a first aid course,not a quick google!

sadbodyblue Tue 18-Feb-14 15:08:54

maybe he was in the middle of watching a favourite programme and didn't want you interrupting him with daft questions.

it should be taught at school as should other life skills like how to manage finances, how to deal with the fucking tax office and how to cook meals that don't use 100 ingredients and can feed a family of 4 without using all your wages.

sadly none of those are going to happen.

Ragwort Tue 18-Feb-14 15:09:13

Can you do CPR?

I have been on a few first aid courses and can do it in the classroom situation but not sure if I could in real life. confused.

hufflebottom Tue 18-Feb-14 15:09:30

There are heartstart courses which I believe teach cpr (feel free to tell me if I'm wrong)

RunRabbit Tue 18-Feb-14 15:19:47


Even if he knew how to do CPR you can't know how he would react in that situation. Some people go into a panic or their mind goes blank.

And ideally you should do a first aid course not 'google it'. What if you do it wrong? Or misjudge the situation?

I was once told of a situation where a man (A) went down and another man (B) dove in to do CPR. Luckily there was a paramedic who recognised man A was having a seizure, and you shouldn't give CPR during one.

Rissolesfortea Tue 18-Feb-14 15:20:58

I have never had to do it thank goodness but I think I could if needed, I would certainly try. I have done a first aid course although it was many years ago, I think I can remember the basics.

He would never do a first aid course, he is lazy, uninterested and unwilling to learn anything, he would only go if I went too.

I agree, it should be something taught in schools, as should any basic first aid. Most school children will eventually become parents and a knowledge of first aid is invaluable.

sadbodyblue Tue 18-Feb-14 15:21:22

Ragwort that's why they have made the course now much simpler by cutting out the breaths and the 1:5 ratios etc. simply doing chest compressions is far easier.

as a nurse take it from me if someone has stopped breathing and there are no other people stepping up to the plate it's best to do something than nothing as the patient is dying.

if you have seen the vinnie jones adverts that's what you do.

call for help first.

check for a pulse, if none do the compression, keep airway open by extending the neck.

yes valid to say never move a person in case of neck injury but if they are not breathing you are not going to make it worse!!

if you manage to get a pulse great turn on side and protect airway.

the trouble with making it somehow difficult stops people saving lives. you are basically just trying to kick start a muscle.

Joules68 Tue 18-Feb-14 15:21:34

and yabu to 'expect' it too....he is his own person and can do as he likes!

specialsubject Tue 18-Feb-14 15:22:21

if you did a first aid course years ago, it is better than nothing but procedures change.

the person most likely to need first aid is the one who sleeps next to you at 4am. You may not save their life but you would know that you did all you could.

everyone who can - get your arses to a first aid course.

Joules68 Tue 18-Feb-14 15:22:37

first aid courses expire and advice changes over the years

so both of you go to one then?

bangersmashandbeans Tue 18-Feb-14 15:23:51

With all due respect, neither googling it or having done a course many years ago is likely to equip you with the ability to do correct CPR. If you feel so strongly about it how about you lay off your DH and book yourself on a course?

sadbodyblue Tue 18-Feb-14 15:24:58

run if someone is having a seizure they would immediately react to you pushing in their chest and be moving anyway and should be breathing.

during a fit just leave the person alone and make sure they are safe from other objects. never ever put your fingers in the mouth. turn inside if it's safe to do so but otherwise just stay and observe to keep safe.

Golferman Tue 18-Feb-14 15:25:49

The pulse check is no longer done, this was taken out of Resus guidelines in 2005. As an ex paramedic and someone currently working in the defibrillator business everyone should know CPR in my opinion and we need more automated external defibrillators in public and workplaces to save live from sudden cardiac arrest. Out of interest, how many MN posters have AEDs in their workplace and know how to use it?

NomDeClavier Tue 18-Feb-14 15:27:13

I think all parents should be offered first aid training when their DC are born and in the first years of school as a refresher, and it should be on the curriculum from the age of 11. Pigs migjt fly though..

The UK has one of the lowest percentages of the general population with first aid training in Europe.

Rissolesfortea Tue 18-Feb-14 15:28:05

He did say that he would ring my daughter, she lives up the road and is a nurse, he couldn't grasp the fact that there would be no time.

I get the feeling that if I had a heart attack I wouldn't stand a chance!

NomDeClavier Tue 18-Feb-14 15:28:44

Golferman where I live (France) we have AEDs on the street with idiot proof instructions. It saves lots of lives.

sadbodyblue Tue 18-Feb-14 15:29:18

if someone is not breathing and had no pulse with redirect it is always better to do something than nothing as they have died.

it's very sad that people get so hung up in correct procedures that people watch others die as they are too scared to do anything.

that's why they have simplified it to just chest compressions. not the only reason but one.

Pigeonhouse Tue 18-Feb-14 15:31:11

My friend's son's life was saved by a teacher who knew CPR and the existence of a defibrillator nearby. I did a baby and child first aid course last year that covered CPR for babies and children, but worry that I would not be able to perform it correctly if needed. My workplace requires all staff to train in how to use a defibrillator.

Joules68 Tue 18-Feb-14 15:31:45

golfer theres one at the local park,attached to the football changing rooms

If it's something you feel strongly about (and it's a good thing to care about I'd say) then maybe you could both do a course together, as it's good to update first aid skills regularly anyway, and you said he might do one if you do too ?
YAB slightly U to expect him to get immediately up to speed on it just because you suddenly say so!

RunRabbit Tue 18-Feb-14 15:32:07

sadbodyblue It didn't get that far the paramedic stepped in before the guy could start.

The shocking part was how forceful man B was about doing CPR just because he knew how. And by not doing anything he was yelling that the paramedic was just letting him die. (No one knew she was a paramedic she was in plain clothes).

Even if he had started doing CPR and and the guy reacted to the pushing and moved away. I don't think he would have noticed. He was so hell bent on doing what he though was right. hmm

sadbodyblue Tue 18-Feb-14 15:32:42

Golferman I am a nursing sister but now a TA so have done 2 first aid courses the last in November.

the paramedic instructed all to check for a pulse.

Joules68 Tue 18-Feb-14 15:35:05

I performed cpr on my mil 13 years ago. she had a heart attack. fil and I were doing it the compressions and he was doing the mouth breaths.she was blue. fil walked away saying it was hopeless but I carried on til paramedics arrived. she died 10 days later but I felt I'd done all I could even though she never regained consciousness.

sadbodyblue Tue 18-Feb-14 15:36:10

well there are always idiots in any situation but will reiterate, if someone has no pulse and is not breathing they are in deep deep trouble and if you do nothing they will continue to die.

sadbodyblue Tue 18-Feb-14 15:38:35

joules you stepped up and did your best. sadly it really is a rough and ready fist aid to maybe save a life but often doesn't do this.

you know you did the right thing.

daisychain01 Tue 18-Feb-14 15:39:31

joules has it right! My DP and I attended a free first aid course because our village has been running a campaign for 3 defibrillators, which are used for basic life saving incidents eg heart attacks.

We could not believe how much we learned in 4 hours. Also it was amazing how research into first aid has developed due to real-world incidents, with knowledge gained feeding back into first aid courses.

For example, the use of rescue breathes is considered far less effective than chest compressions, in fact they said dont waste precious time giving mouth to mouth, far better to use your energy on the chest, that has greater chance of saving someones life.

I wont profess to remembering everything from the course, but it was a great experience.

rissoles I can recommend you and DH do a first aid course together, it will really be an eye opener for your DH far better than Doctor Google. Our trainer had been in the Road Traffic Accident unit until he retired, so he gave lots of real world examples and helpful advice esp. If you have children who swallow something by accident ( theheimlich manoeuvre and all that jazz)

I have become quite evangelistic about it, as it would be amazing to contribute towards saving a life!

Googling it is far better than doing nothing. Yes, ideally everybody should do a proper basic life support course but in the absence of that then just watching the Vinnie Jones advert is a great idea. Doing something is almost always better than doing nothing and having looked after many people whose lives have been saved by somebody 'having a go' I think the important thing is for people to feel confident enough to start cpr while waiting for the experts.

I've done cpr more times than I can remember (in a professional capacity, I'm not just a really unlucky person to be around grin) and it's not rocket science. When a patient is unconscious and not breathing it's very hard to do anything worse than nothing at all.

ReadyToPopAndFresh Tue 18-Feb-14 15:43:09


Anonymai Tue 18-Feb-14 15:45:34

Yanbu OP. Even reading about it after googling will be better than doing nothing. I'd rather have someone who had a rough idea with me than someone who couldn't even attempt to save me!

sallysparrow157 Tue 18-Feb-14 15:45:39

One thing to be aware of with the new guidelines that compressions are more important than breaths, this is true in adults but not kids, the most common cause for a child to have a cardiac arrest is low oxygen levels, so when resuscitating a child you should still do rescue breaths (I don't actually know what first aid courses say about this but I'm a paediatrician)

goodasitgets Tue 18-Feb-14 15:46:13

If you're not sure then when you ring 999, they will tell you how to do CPR. So if you know, but you're panicking, they will run through it with you smile

Sadbodyblue ILS guidelines (for healthcare professionals) do include checking for a pulse, BLS guidelines (for lay people) do not include checking the pulse. If a person is not breathing and is unconscious they will go into cardiac arrest shortly so checking for a pulse is less important than starting compressions in this situation.

GeraldineFangedVagine Tue 18-Feb-14 15:48:23

I think the advice to not check for a pulse was in order to save time, because most non clinical people performing cpr would struggle to find one and because in a high tension situation people often mistake their own pulse for the victims. At my last cpr update in december it was a 60 second breathing check then straight to compressions without a pulse check.

liquidstate Tue 18-Feb-14 15:48:52

The British Heart Foundation sponsors Heartstart training courses. I went on one last year and would send my DH but he is doing a first aid course at work next month so no point. I donated £5 and we got served tea and biscuits.

They recommend you do the course every 4 or 5 years. But I am looking to do a baby one soon as expecting my first.

Check out the local BHF listings to see if there is a community course near you and both go. You learn so much.

sadbodyblue Tue 18-Feb-14 15:54:01

yes I can see the pulse check would be problematic for lay people and to be honest you do forget how little people know. I was amazed noone had ever felt a neck pulse but then again why should they? yes see that logic.

Sally yes agree but the first aid course did not mention rescue breaths for children either and it was a paediatric specific course so I was suprised too.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Tue 18-Feb-14 15:55:08

as a nurse take it from me if someone has stopped breathing and there are no other people stepping up to the plate it's best to do something than nothing as the patient is dying

As another nurse I agree. And I also think everyone should learn about choking, especially if they have a child.

sadbodyblue Tue 18-Feb-14 15:56:53

yep agree again MrsMin no pulse and no breathing is a dying person. do something and have a go as really you are not going to make things worse.

sadbodyblue Tue 18-Feb-14 15:58:28

pobble yes agree and really wish this was taught at antenatal classes. far more sense than how to bath a baby which isn't rocket science.

Geraldine - checking for normal breathing should take no longer than 10 seconds, 60 seconds is too long when you're dying...

daisychain01 Tue 18-Feb-14 16:00:22

GeraldineFangedVagine yy re pulse. on our course, we practiced getting down on the floor and put one hand on person's abdomen, your cheek next to their face and you will feel if there is breathe, plus feel the abdomen rising and lowering. Really effective and quick.

I just hope to goodness I remember all this stuff smile.

Also they taught us to take off the person's glasses fold them up and carefully place them in their hand. So - hopefully when they wake up, - you haven't walked off with their 'bins' and they dont feel disoriented. How thoughtful is that!

AbbeyBartlet Tue 18-Feb-14 16:15:46

I am a qualified first aider and when I did my course we were told that, unless the person was drowning, CPR is completely ineffective anyway.

Really Abby? That's not true.

AFAIK there is no regulation of who gives first aid training so not surprising that some instructors are not necessarily well informed.

sadbodyblue Tue 18-Feb-14 16:26:40

Abbey that's a bit negative and as a nurse I woulda say just have a go. there is nothing to loose and maybe a life to gain.

GeraldineFangedVagine Tue 18-Feb-14 16:27:39

Apologies was a mis type and 60 secs would be a big waste of time. I regularly seem to be involved in cpr, but its likely to be very different when not in a clinical environment. I think the guidelines are intended to make it as easy as possible to get cpr going hence no pulse check.

sadbodyblue Tue 18-Feb-14 16:28:43

also I would question the professionalism if the course leader.

glad that person wasn't near my dd and her friends after a fatal accident. what an attitude!

beitou Tue 18-Feb-14 16:32:26

How bizarre Abbey that CPR is completley ineffective yet it is still taught and widely used. I wonder how I have managed to get 3 return of spontaneous circulation on patients who were in PEA and therfore unshockable if CPR was completley ineffective. Whoever taught that course needs firing, he or she is putting lives at risk. Timely CPR is a life saver, if nothing else it keeps blood circulating untill a paramedic can get there and start Advanced Life Support. If in doubt start CPR.

BobaFetaCheese Tue 18-Feb-14 16:34:27


I think first aid training is an essential skill

beitou Tue 18-Feb-14 16:35:29

A big well done to those who have started CPR, it does take an enourmous effort and a lot of nerve to jump up and down on someones chest if you have never done it before. I do it routinley and it is still an enormously emotionaly and physicaly draining experience.

goodasitgets Tue 18-Feb-14 16:40:50

I'm in no doubt that giving CPR works. Having given instructions over the phone many times, I've had follow up news that the patients have been alive and walked out of hospital. Better to do something than nothing

I am a qualified first aider and when I did my course we were told that, unless the person was drowning, CPR is completely ineffective anyway

Are you sure you heard that right? If so, complain about your instructor.
Granted, it is unlikely that the victim will be completely fine after your interventions but without it, they're dead.

Weegiemum Tue 18-Feb-14 16:45:34

My dh is a doctor who does yearly CPR updates, and pretty much insists on me keeping my (work related) first aid including CPR up to date - and our 14 yo dd has just done her first course. Once in his surgery and once in public he's had to do CPR (along with the many arrest calls he had as a junior doc) and both patients survived.

Dd1 is still going round the house singing "ah, ah, ah, ah stay in' alive" as that was the tune they were taught to do it with!

The "only if they're drowning" advice is very, very wrong - that instructor shouldn't be teaching!!

parakeet Tue 18-Feb-14 16:49:19

OP assuming you are not a massive hypocrite and you know how to do CPR yourself, then why don't you teach him?

jamdonut Tue 18-Feb-14 16:54:26

I've done many first aid courses over the years,but what is confusing is ,each time I do a refresher course,the advice on CPR changes,and then I get nervous about following correct procedure in the event of an actual emergency!!confused confused

Rissolesfortea Tue 18-Feb-14 16:58:07

Thank you for all your replies. Sorry I disappeared but I have been looking for first aid courses in my area there aren't many and I think I have found one being run by the Red Cross, I am going to ring them tomorrow and try to book us both in.

Having read some of the replies I realise that I am very out of date with modern techniques so a refresher is definately needed. Also, I look after my 2yr DGD very regularly so all knowledge will be good hopefully never needed.

This has made me realise how important it is to know how to help people in an emergency situation and maybe it has encouraged others to take a course too.

sadbodyblue Tue 18-Feb-14 16:58:26

jam yes that's the problem I think. it was seen as too complicated.

look at it this way. no breathing and no pulse?

the person will die.

you are essentially pushing on the heart muscle to get it to start again so blood is pumped to the brain. that's it.

have a go if you are in that situation and remember to do something is brave, to do nothing is cowardly.

sadbodyblue Tue 18-Feb-14 16:59:13

good on you op.

SockQueen Tue 18-Feb-14 16:59:46

The exact correct procedure doesn't matter. Virtually any kind of CPR is better than no CPR.

The overall outcomes after CPR are poor, but for the few who do make it, good quality, early CPR is lifesaving. Most of the resus calls I've been to haven't survived, but in those that have, I can't think of a single one who didn't have very rapid CPR started by a bystander.

Having said this, I'm pretty sure my DH wouldn't know what to do - I ought to correct this!

RunRabbit Tue 18-Feb-14 17:01:06

sadbodyblue I think cowardly is a bit harsh. Some people go into panic mode, which I think is a reasonable response.

On any CPR thread I like to mention the encouraging story about my DGP who one summer day when we were all at the seaside had a heart attack. The man in the hut next to DGP's was a policeman who got Grandpa's heart going again using CPR. I was about ten at the time. Grandpie lived a further 7 years til I was 17 - so I had all those extra years with him to get to know him better, and he got to see us all grow up < sniff >

littledrummergirl Tue 18-Feb-14 17:30:06

I did a baby and child first aid course when ds1 was a baby. This was useful when ds2 was born prem and I was on my own. He was just breathing when the paramedics arrived.
I am a work first aider and so far have had two heart attacks - both patients survived. Chest compressions worked for them.
First aid is not for everyone though, it is scary and stressful and involves quite a lot of cleaning (patients can be messy after cpr). It is also very emotional. You need to be sure that your dh is ready before booking him onto a course.

canyou Tue 18-Feb-14 17:38:08

I agree any CPR is better the none, I had to do it for my Dad he was witnessed arrest and we were unsucessful but we have no regrets we knew everything that possibly could be done was done and that is what is important.
I think CPR is more for those left behind, they know the event was not suvivable and everything possiblevwas done. CPR and first aod should be taughtvat school it is a basic life skill that can save a life

CynicalandSmug Tue 18-Feb-14 17:38:36

I get basic life support (including AED) annually, which includes pointing out that the most important thing any of us can do is call 999 first of all. I have dealt with a number of emergencies calmly but luckily my bls training has not yet been required, I am not entirely sure if that is an emergency I would be calm about or even remember effectively particularly if it was regarding a loved one.

sadbodyblue Tue 18-Feb-14 17:41:51

RunRabbit but it is cowardly. yes it's scary, yes of course it is, but doing nothing is essentially putting your feelings and needs above a dying person and that's cowardly.

if it was a loved one of mine and people just stood around hand wringing and gawping I would consider them cowards.

thankfully the adults with my dd and her friends did get involved way before the paramedics turned up.

canyou Tue 18-Feb-14 17:42:29

Cynical you go into automatic mode and do it trust me You go to pieces after thou and I found it harder when it was strangers then my Dad

NCISaddict Tue 18-Feb-14 17:55:13

Just a quick correction, just because someone is having a heart attack doesn't mean they need CPR. A heart attack can lead to a cardiac arrest but they are essentially two very different things.
Also in an awful lot of cardiac arrests a defib is useless, that is not to say we shouldn't have more available, we should, just that they cannot always be used. People do tend to think that a shock can always be delivered but that is not correct.
First aid courses kept up to date can and are lifesavers and I think everyone should do one.

Lilicat1013 Tue 18-Feb-14 17:58:11

Sure Start often run baby and child first aid courses so that might be an option.

I definitely think it should be taught in schools so everyone has the basic knowledge. I was taught basic first aid in college, then did courses for work and a Sure Start course when my older son was a toddler.

I am not confident I would get it completely right or remember everything but I would try because as people have said something is better than nothing.

If you can't do a course there are instructional videos on You Tube which are helpful. I used it to update myself on how to deal with a baby choking when I had my youngest.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Tue 18-Feb-14 18:01:15

People do tend to think that a shock can always be delivered but that is not correct

TV really doesn't help with this myth!

NCISaddict Tue 18-Feb-14 18:03:10

Nor does the popular view on TV that a couple of seconds of crap CPR followed by a shock and the person walks out of hospital ten minutes later!grin

Pobblewhohasnotoes Tue 18-Feb-14 18:05:17

Don't forget if you wake up from a coma you don't need rehab! You can get up, walk, talk and go back to work within half an hour!

VelvetGecko Tue 18-Feb-14 18:06:34

YANBU. Everyone, especially parents/teachers should know basic first aid. I had to put my knowledge into practice on my own child when he was just 6 weeks old. He had a heavy cold, I nipped to the toilet and came back to find him choking/turning blue. I immediately put him over my knee on his tummy and thumped his back and a huge plug of mucus came up. If I hadn't known what to do I doubt he'd be here today.
More recently he woke in the night having a croup attack barely able to breathe, again I knew exactly what to do and managed to get his breathing regular again. It is very scary but much less so when you know what to do in those situations.

NCISaddict Tue 18-Feb-14 18:11:49

Tell me about

Seriously though if someone is lying on the floor and IS NOT BREATHING (sorry for the caps) but it's really important then opening their airway and doing CPR is the single most important thing you can do for them. They are already as good as dead and you can't make it any worse but you can give them a chance. Make no mistake, it's bloody hard work but you may save a life and, trust me, there is no feeling quite like that.

MoreBeta Tue 18-Feb-14 18:15:59

I went on a basic First Aid course with a man who trains paramedics and nurses how to do first aid. He was ex RAF regiment and was very down to earth. Said some really interesting things.

Obviously you do the basics like make sure you are safe and not going to get electrocuted or run over by a car. Then check for breathing. If not breathing do CPR.

1. Trainee, paramedics and nurses and doctors he trains often stand faffing about checking for a pulse while someone is actually dying. Get stuck in with CPR.

2. Dont do mouth to mouth. Get stuck in with CPR.

3. Enrol other people to call ambulance ASAP you are only keeping the patient alive until someone arrives with more equipment and skills and until they can get them to a hospital. Get stuck in with CPR.

4. Your chances of saving someone's life is 10%. Get stuck in with CPR.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Tue 18-Feb-14 18:17:24

My workplace requires all staff to train in how to use a defibrillator. we also do CPR training etc every year. i was shocked to hear that 10% of people who need CPR survive the rest sadly dont but without it lots have no chance at all. its a hard thing to learn as you have to imagine yourself actually using it and I was stunned at how much force is needed. its not the gentle push you see on TV its not uncommon for ribs to be broken, especially in older people. This and choking first aid are essential I think for us all to learn and do think it should be taught in schools.

beitou Tue 18-Feb-14 18:25:10

A lot of people I talk to seem to think that we shock a person to start the heart. That is wrong we shock a person to stop the heart.

When a person goes into cardiac arrest the heart will either stop, this is asytole people know it as flat line or their heart may go into pulseless electrical activity. PEA will show electrical activity on a defib screen but the heart will not be beating, it has already stopped. Aystole and PEA can not be shocked. We can shock a heart that is in either ventricula fibrilation, VF of pulseless ventricula tachycardia, PVT. In both VF and PVT the heart is still beating but doing so in an ineffective way that means blood is not getting pumped round the body. To stop this ineffective beating we give the heart an electrical shock. The shock will stop the heart and the body will restart it, hopefully in an effective organised rythm called normal sinus rythm. However just because we have shocked someone it does not mean that the heart will always return to a sinus rythm. I have seen many occasions when the heart has gone staraigh back into VF and a whole series of shocks are needed.

If someone has arrested and cpr is started and an AED is got to the patient their chances of survival are increased by a hugh amount.

It is quite scary to have to use an AED but they really do tell you what to do, open tyhem look at the pictoral instructions to show you where to put the pads, switch it on and do what it tells you, they really are vey good and are life savers.

beitou Tue 18-Feb-14 18:27:37

Paramedics don't get first aid training, they are quite a bit more qualified at giving emergency medical aid than a first aider.

Itsaboatjack Tue 18-Feb-14 18:29:54

Everyone in our household is practically an expert in CPR as when my bf was a student nurse she did some volunteering as a trainer of CPR. So to practise her teaching skills she taught us all, over and over again.

Saying that though I've actually know how to do it since I was about 15, and am surprised how few people know how to. A friend of mine is the first aider in his workplace, a few years back his colleague had a heart attack and died. Unfortunately it struck when he was out on his lunch break, he was actually at Oxford Circus when it happened and with all those people around no-one tried to do CPR on him. My friend so upset as he thought if it had happened when he was in the office he could have saved him.

Featherbag Tue 18-Feb-14 19:04:04

Just to add to the nurses' chorus - get stuck in and have a go if someone is unconscious and not breathing! I also wanted to amend some previous very good advice slightly - a person without a pulse, who is not breathing, is not dying. They are dead. You cannot be in a worse condition than dead, therefore your attempts at CPR cannot make things worse. Have a go! I'm an A&E nurse, and shortly after the Vinnie Jones campaign we did notice an increase in the number of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests that came to us having regained a cardiac output after bystander, hands-only CPR. This dropped off again, but on a purely anecdotal level I've seen enough evidence to know that this campaign saved lives! Often the life was only saved for long enough to allow the relatives to come and say their goodbyes peacefully in ITU, but that is a huge gift to a grieving family.

AbbeyBartlet Wed 19-Feb-14 07:24:31

I wasn't being negative, I was just pointing out that it was my instructor that said this. We were all a bit bemused.

Fortunately I have never had to use it in RL as the only situations so I can't comment on its effectiveness.

Isabelonatricycle Wed 19-Feb-14 09:54:33

Absolutely recommend as many people as possible have basic first aid training. A few points to add to the discussion:

The not giving rescue breaths is fine if you are in an area where an ambulance can get to you quickly, as the blood you are pumping around with the chest compressions is still oxygenated. However, if you are in a rural area where it will take a while for an ambulance to arrive, if you feel you can top up the oxygen in their system, it really will help.

For adults, it is compressions first, then breaths. However, for either drowning victims or children, it is the other way around.

Please follow the advice about looking/feeling/listening for breath, rather than for a pulse - when medically training people can get a pulse wrong (more likely to be doctors than nurses, but even nurses do sometimes), if you have little training you are more likely to. This isn't meant to be a dig at nurses or doctor - I've been told of doctors who've "found" a pulse on someone who was dead - and I believe it because the person who told me was one of those who got it wrong, which was rather embarrassing for him.

divisionbyzero Wed 19-Feb-14 10:31:19

sadbodyblue "maybe he was in the middle of watching a favourite programme and didn't want you interrupting him with daft questions.

it should be taught at school as should other life skills like how to manage finance..."

If you are talking about not interrupting people with daft questions when they are watching TV, I agree.

CPR however - well they do cover it briefly but there are risks to teaching it to kids then sending them out to play, so I'm not sure I'd want it drummed into masses of kids too regularly. When I think of some of the kids DC are at school with, I can well imagine them pinning people to do (potentially very dangerous) CPR practice on them.

MothratheMighty Wed 19-Feb-14 10:38:57

I've been doing a FA course every three years for decades.
The advice has changed a bit, but the example that stuck in my mind was the experienced Emergency Responder who said the only time he doesn't attempt CPR if the victim isn't breathing is if the body is here (pointing at his feet) and the head is over there.

goldenlula Wed 19-Feb-14 10:56:15

I haven't read the whole thread so may have already been said, but a few posters talked about how children should be taught first aid and it reminded me that a month or 2 back the St John Ambulance came knocking on our door (charity collecter, price of a jar of coffee and all that). On this occasion they were particularly asking for donations towards a first aid course to be run in schools as part of regular learning from the age of 7. They said they were aiming for first aid to become basic General knowledge and part of 'normal' life for young children. They are doing it area by area.

cariad34 Thu 20-Feb-14 20:20:20

I had to give my husband CPR when he had a sudden cardiac arrest. I wish that in all the first aid courses I'd ever attended, someone had mentioned agonal breathing. When I found him, the noises he was making sounded so much like snoring, I thought he was breathing. It probably wouldn't have saved him, but if I'd known about agonal breathing I would've started CPR sooner rather than tried to protect his airway.

Your mind really does go blank in that situation though.

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