Why learn CPR?

I recently had a very eye opening experience in my own home that has prompted me to make the suggestion that everyone learn CPR.

Julie and my three daughters and I were at the end of the evening at home in our living area and were about to head up to bed when my youngest daughter Maddie, 9 years old, was sort of doing a jumping act on the ottoman of a sofa chair. She turned to me and said “watch Dad I can do it blind folded” and she proceeded to cover her head and body with a blanket. As she spring boarded off the ottoman to the chair she misjudged the angle and hit her chest very hard directly on the solid arm of the chair.

It obviously not only scared her, but hurt. She immediately came over to me and started screaming in front of me but then, suddenly she had all the wind leave her, shuttered, and then passed out completely. She was not breathing nor conscious. My first reaction was to lie her on the floor and I did this. She was lifeless and still not breathing and my wife Julie said she was gray. I immediately started CPR and felt for and found a pulse but she was still not breathing. I did a sternal rub to arouse her but this did not work and I started to give her a couple breaths to get her lungs inflated. After what seemed like an eternity, but I am sure it was only a minute, she suddenly started breathing and came to, and started crying.

Part of what is significant about this is that all the others in the room, my wife, two other daughters Kaylyn, 18, Bri, 16, all panicked. I told them to call 911 and it was as though their brains froze because of what the were seeing, their daughter/sister possibly dying. My wife Julie has had the certification for CPR just this year, and I have seen her react well in emergencies, but was incapacitated with fear, probably because it was her daughter dying right in front of her. I think she also trusted I knew what to do. The other two started freaking out and crying.

I am not telling this to you to make myself look good, I have had to perform CPR/ACLS over the course of my 22 year career many times, but to elucidate that had I NOT been a Doctor, my daughters and wife could have potentially been unable to help Maddie and she could have died. I just don’t know what would have been the result. Maddie has completely recovered.

Statistics reveal 70% of Americans feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they have never been trained to perform CPR.

Out of 383,000 out of hospital annual cardiac arrests, 88% occur in the home.

Many victims appear healthy and with no known heart disease or heart complications.

Failure to act in a cardiac emergency can lead to unnecessary deaths.

Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after a sudden cardiac arrest can triple the victim’s chance of survival.

Only 32% of cardiac victims get CPR from a bystander.

Sadly, only 7 to 10% of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive.

Overview of Emergency Response:

  • Be sure to get CPR training that includes skills practiced with a mannequin.
  • Be sure to get CPR training for infants and children as well as adults.
  • Always call 911 for the Emergency Medical Services.
  • Get Effective AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) training for use on adults, children and infants.
  • Always remember: your safety and the safety of the bystanders come first, check the area for hazards.

Overview of CPR:

  • Be aware of hazards and check the area for scene safety.
  • Check the unconscious victim for normal breathing.
  • Have someone call 911 for help and bring back an AED if available.
  • Begin CPR using the CAB sequence. C is Compressions, A is Airway, and B is Breaths.
  • Continue care until advanced help arrives (EMS) or the victim begins to breathe again on their own.

For more information and how to get your training in CPR go to CPRColorado.com or call 888-733-9990 or 303-818-3737.