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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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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 18:01:15

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!

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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 >

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