I received yet another loving email from a person who’s father died in the front of their automobile while they were driving them to the hospital. Due to things outside her control, she was unable to move her dad to the ground so she improvised and did CPR while he was reclined in the car the best she could. She has struggled for some time with this and found some relief from my episode on “Did I Do CPR Wrong?”.
I just replied back to her and I have to believe there may be others who have tried to save a life with CPR and felt it was not successful. So I’m going to include my reply to her in this blog entry and for those of you who are suffering, I hope it helps.
This person said in her last paragraph of her email: “I have struggled with this in so many ways, yet feel comfort in being with him when he left. I have struggled to find any material that related to my experience. I have felt isolated in not being able to share how I lost my dad, This story, the words you have written, have helped me process and understand my own experience. Thank you.”
This was my response:
I’m so very sorry for the loss of your Father. I’m sure this must have been most traumatic for both you and your mother. I want to re-ensure you that what you did for your dad that day, was the most brave and loving gift you could have given both your dad and your mum. Every thing you did sounds perfect in order to give your dad the best chance of survival possible under the circumstances. The fact that he did not survive the event does not have anything to do with your efforts. Remember, CPR is only a time buyer in case the person is going to respond to medications and advanced medicine. It’s not a guarantee. The fact that you had the courage to try and the compassion to help is amazing. Please let your mother know that her reaction to the situation is also very normal. She lost the love of her life. Her soul mate and her husband. It’s a nightmare that is happening for real, right before her eyes and it’s not wrong for her to be so overwhelmed with grief and fear that she could not help. That’s why paramedics are not called to their own homes for emergencies. It’s too emotional. So please, let your mother know that she is not at fault for her reactions either.
I hope and pray that you will receive peace during this time of healing. But please know that everyone has a day to die and it’s never easy to experience it. CPR just keeps the window of opportunity to survive open a little longer. You gave that to your dad. As a father myself, I can only imagine how I’d feel to know that my daughter loved me so much that she would give me CPR while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. What love.
Be at Peace,
P.S. I’ve included the video that explains this message in detail. I recorded it so long ago, it’s hard to find so I’m going to bring it back to the top. Share it with anyone you may know who may benefit from it.
In this episode, I dig into a subject that is sure to cause controversy. But…for those who know me, when have I ever steered clear from that? So, after being made aware of a situation where a mother was forced to sign a waiver that stated something to the effect, “I understand that by not getting my children vaccinated with the flu shot, I am endangering society…blah…blah, etc.”. This caused me to be a little curious about what all this unreasonable pressure is about in getting the flu shot. Is it really that good? Is it really that effective? Is it really that safe? I mean, since when has an epidemic every been prevented by a flu shot? The last flu pandemic was in like 1969 but it still was not like the one in 1918! And since then, we suddenly think that in 2008 we should be developing a flu vaccine to save countless lives? Well, this would all be fine and well if we didn’t have to worry about potentially dangerous substances found in the medium of the vaccine. In fact, more and more reliable research is being uncovered all the time about the potential risks of vaccinations that contain toxic substances like Thimerosal which is a mercury derivative and a highly toxic heavy metal and a carcinogenic called Polysorbate 80 (also known as Tween 80): Generally contaminated with the carcinogen 1,4-dioxane. Not to mention the possible side effects of allergies, asthma and autism linked to the adjuvant. So, before you take the plunge, I think it’s a good idea to do your own research, find credible websites including the CDC itself and look at the real research to see if the risk of injecting these chemicals are really worth the possible but not guaranteed benefits of getting the flu shot. I hope it helps.
I was sent a tweet from our friends across the Ocean who are involved in rescue. It appears that a teenager was washed out to sea and the brave men and women who make up the UK Coast Guard, risked their lives to try and save this child. Regardless the outcome, I wanted to thank them personally by featuring their rescue video.
I received an email from a caregiver who was asking if I could do a bit more training on the care of a 15 month old with a trach. I did find a couple videos that were pretty good for cleaning and changing a tracheostomy tube but not really how to deal with ventilation assistance. I thought I’d at least take a few video bytes and maybe add some tips and thoughts about what to do if you have O2, bag valve mask and a suction unit. Hope it helps.
I saw a comment come in this morning from our training feedback report that read, “in your trainings, why do you say, ‘not breathing normally’ instead of ‘not breathing,’ period, for starting CPR?” I thought this was a valid question and so I thought I’d try to reply with a valid answer! The following is my reply to their question. I hope it helps.
Thank you for taking the time to give feed back regarding the ProTrainings certification program. You mentioned that the phrase “not breathing normally” versus “not breathing” was confusing. I can appreciate your thoughts regarding this phrase. The reason that the phrase is now “not breathing normally,” is in response to studies that show many sudden cardiac arrest victims still having some agonal respirations for the first minute into arrest. This slow gasp for air is purely an autonomic reflex, and does not relate to having a pulse. This form of insufficient respiration is inadequate to oxygenate, and the patient is usually pulseless as well. Due to this, the latest consensus guidelines changes the verbiage to, “not breathing normally”, so as to encourage early CPR compressions. In the past, rescuers, especially lay rescuers, were confusing agonal respirations for normal respirations and thought CPR was not needed.
I hope this helps clear up the confusion, and hope that you will email me if you have any further questions.
I wanted to get a video update out before the long Holiday weekend. I’ve had an incredibly busy summer but am excited to get the RoyOnRescue series updated and back on track. Make sure you reach out to me with questions and comments using email and twitter.
Got a good question via email today regarding the choking adult scenario. This rescuer asked if we could explain the following: “Please talk about how to give a pregnant woman chest compressions if she was choking. How would we hold her? With an infant we make sure the head is below the body. But what to do for a pregnant woman who is choking? -H____
I thought this was a good question and one that we cover in our CPR certification course. Feel free to view it below. At about 44 seconds into the training, I talk about what to do if the person has a distended abdomen that’s too large to reach around, or they are a pregnant person. I hope this helps!
In this unedited video, I talk about and explain why we cover a patient who may be showing signs of shock after this question came in by email. Remember, it’s important to help the patient feel comfortable, cared for, and safe as best as possible. But physiologically speaking…keeping the patient warm helps prevent hypothermia “which shifts the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve to the left, impairs oxygen delivery, and exacerbates the shock state.”(http://www.ebmedicine.net/topics.php?paction=showTopicSeg&topic_id=110&seg_id=2113) And in the end, the fact that the person feels well cared for can help them become less anxious and do better through the traumatic event. Hope this helps.
I received a question via email about using an adult AED on a pediatric patient if there were no pediatric AED pads available. The quick answer? Yes, you can. Remember, many newer AED’s are now attenuated and will usually give as much electricity as needed to accomplish de-fibrillation. If at all possible, use an AED with pediatric pads and place them correctly on the chest and back of the pediatric patient. If no pediatric pads are available, place the adult size AED pads on the front center of chest and in the middle of the child’s back approximately between the shoulder blades to ensure most effective de-fibrillation even with adult AED. In the end, when a person is suffering sudden cardiac arrest, the majority of the time, they are in a some form of de-fibrillatable rythm and an AED is of great benefit, even if the size of the pads don’t match. Ages for the child ranges between 1-8 or first signs of puberty, after that, treat as an adult and if under 1 year of age, treat as an infant. There’s some question as to the effectiveness of de-fibrillation in infants under 1 year. See the above links for more details regarding this subject.
I hope this helps.
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