Saturday, March 19, 2016

Buying time with CPR - you CAN save lives!

I've just attended a 2 day workshop on Advanced Life Support and Advanced Trauma Life Support run by Western Australia's Rural Health Organization. Believe me, it was intense and hugely informative. I don't think I've pumped out that much adrenaline role-playing emergency scenarios in a long, long time! I came away with a greater confidence that even as a GP with nearly four decades of experience that I can do more to help the people I care for in emergency situations.

But there is something that everyone can do that can help save lives - CPR

Effective CPR buys time! Crucial time that allows an ambulance, or someone with a Defibrillator (and all airports, large urban shopping centres, gymnasiums etc now have them readily available) to arrive. Getting a Defibrillator onto a collapsed person who's not breathing - AS SOON AS POSSIBLE - provides that person with the maximum chance of survival.

Remember: maintaining circulation with CPR is the only tool we have when someone collapses outside of a hospital environment. And the big difference to survival is a DEFIBRILLATOR.

All Defibrillators are really smart machines: all you have to do is place the pads on the patients chest and switch the machine on. It will diagnose what's going and tell you exactly what to do.

So the message is simple:

  1. Learn effective CPR to buy TIME
  2. In the DRSABC algorithm you will learn, probably the most important thing to do is SEND FOR HELP which in real life is to say:

 "Call for an Ambulance and see if there's a Defibrillator in this place"

 You can make a difference. Effective CPR buys time, but a Defibrillator saves lives.
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