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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?

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!

mrsminiverscharlady Tue 18-Feb-14 15:40:59

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

mrsminiverscharlady Tue 18-Feb-14 15:46:53

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.

mrsminiverscharlady Tue 18-Feb-14 15:59:00

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.

mrsminiverscharlady Tue 18-Feb-14 16:26:38

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

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