Happy Easter you Bunnies!
As many of you know, we had a tragedy two weeks ago in the gym. Yes, after almost 15 years of me being a trainer at the gym, one of our patients suffered a stroke while exercising with one of the physical therapy staff members. Yes, the woman is alive however her condition has not improved much over the past two weeks.
Fortunately, there were several people, including me, “on the floor” when it happened. Of course we called 9-1-1 immediately as well as sent someone down to the Fire Station to hurry them along. We also began chest compressions, as the patient’s heart stopped beating and she was no longer breathing, while yet one more individual was free to grab the Automated External Defibrillator.
Notice that “traditional” cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) wasn’t preformed. Why you ask? Because recently, new guidelines have been adopted and released by the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend that the three steps of CPR be rearranged.
Now, instead of establishing a clean airway and doing mouth to mouth, it is recommended that the first step to administer help to someone who doesn’t have a pulse. If you’ve ever taken a class and remember A-B-C for airway, breathing and compressions. The new way is C-A-B for compressions, airway and breathing for all “patients” (adults, children and infants) except newborns
Chest compressions, which are crucial for keeping the blood circulating, can be done by anybody and it’s easy to remember. “For many victims, that alone will be lifesaving,” says Michael R. Sayre, MD, chair of the emergency cardiovascular care committee for the AHA and co-author of the executive summary of the 2010 AHA guidelines for CPR and emergency cardiovascular care.
So, what should you do in case of an emergency:
1. Call 911 or ask someone else to do so.
2. Try to get the person to respond; if he doesn’t, roll the person on his or her back.
3. To start chest compressions, place the heel of your hand on the center of the victim’s chest. Put your other hand on top of the first with your fingers interlaced.
4. Press down so you compress the chest at least 2 inches in adults and children and 1.5 inches in infants. ”One hundred times a minute or even a little faster is optimal,” Sayre says.
5. If you’re been trained in CPR, you can now open the airway with a head tilt and chin lift.
6. Pinch closed the nose of the victim. Take a normal breath, cover the victim’s mouth with yours to create an airtight seal, and then give two, one-second breaths as you watch for the chest to rise.
7. Continue compressions and breaths — 30 compressions, two breaths — until help arrives.
So, if you are ever witness a life-and-death situation and you can’t remember the new order of CPR or have never been trained in it at all, please remember to get help and perform chest compressions as described above. If you’re lucky, someone may be able to thank you for your efforts later.
On this day (March 31) in 1976 – The New Jersey Supreme Court allowed the removal of the respirator that assisted Karen Ann Quinlan, who had been comatose since Apr 15, 1975. Quinlan, who remained comatose, died Jul 11, 1985. I mention this one because of its ties to life-and-death as well as the fact that I personally remember being sad for her and the family as it happened the day before my it being a very big story as just a day before my eighth birthday. Hint! Hint!!
Oh, and by the way, sorry for the tardiness in getting this week’s installment out. I am still recovering from a night at BOA where a RIBEYE (not RBI), a bottle of Chianti and an onion brick helped make for an overindulgent birthday celebration. Thanks Tracy, Gayle and Paul!