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Writer's Block: First Aid - MoonScape [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
e_moon60

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Writer's Block: First Aid [Jun. 28th, 2009|06:27 am]
e_moon60
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Have you ever performed CPR, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, or the Heimleich maneuver on someone in an emergency?
Yes.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: melissajm
2009-06-28 02:41 pm (UTC)
No, but I've had it performed on me. (choking incident.)
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[User Picture]From: gunhilda
2009-06-28 03:09 pm (UTC)
No, but at least two of my students have made saves. (I was a CPR instructor for years.)
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-06-29 10:41 pm (UTC)
I taught only a few classes, but the one that still brings tears to my eyes was the unit on emergency care that I taught within the high school senior health class. I included both adult and infant CPR. Within two years, one of the class saved his kid. Two others tried desperately to save a friend in the context of a rollover accident--didn't, but they tried, and they knew they'd done what they could.
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[User Picture]From: ann_mcn
2009-06-28 03:54 pm (UTC)
Mouth to mouth on a college roommate who'd OD'ed on Vivarin pills. It takes real talent to OD on caffeine pills. As it turns out, she wasn't suffocating, but needed more CO2, so I did a solution by accident. A paper bag would have worked, in hindsight.
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[User Picture]From: first_clark
2009-06-29 02:02 am (UTC)

CPR, fruitlessly

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[User Picture]From: first_clark
2009-06-29 10:25 pm (UTC)

Re: CPR, fruitlessly

Sorry, galeni, it's friends-locked. Relevant subset:

"I'm only haunted by the heart attack victim who didn't make it. I was the first responder, and my head says I did all I could. My heart cries that there must have been something more. She walked right up to me, clearly wanting to ask me something, and collapsed, clutching her chest.

I tried."
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-06-29 10:36 pm (UTC)

Re: CPR, fruitlessly

That's tough. I remember every one I lost, more clearly than the few we saved. I think the one that haunts me most is the woman who had arrested once before, but her cardiologist refused to believe it was a full arrest because he assumed the FP where she lived (small town) misdiagnosed it. That time a relative was in the house, and started CPR fast; she had a pulse by the time the ambulance arrived. Damnfool cardiologist didn't put in pacemaker--or do anything, actually--because he insisted it hadn't been a real cardiac arrest, she just fainted. She arrested again, this time with no one in the house; I did CPR all the way to the hospital. Her cardiologist, when called by the FP treating her in the county ER, again refused to believe she was in arrest and again accused the FP of confusing a faint with a cardiac arrest. I wanted to crawl through the phone line and throttle that damnable cardiologist.

She was a fine old lady--sweet enough and gingery enough both. But to her cardiologist she was just some old country woman.

The other haunting one was the 2 1/2 year old boy who drowned in the family pool...we got a pulse on him (little kids' hearts being slow to die) but it was too late for his brain. I cried buckets and when our son was that age, I could not stand to see him near water.
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[User Picture]From: first_clark
2009-06-30 01:14 am (UTC)

Re: CPR, fruitlessly

Ah, empathy, empathy. What we carry within us. Thanks for sharing you haunts. Was this what you were looking for with your initial appeal?
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-06-30 01:23 am (UTC)

Re: CPR, fruitlessly

Er...no. That question was one that showed up on the "Writer's Block" listing--I rarely do those, but that one drew me.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-06-29 11:02 pm (UTC)

Re: CPR, fruitlessly

No, not fun. It never is. And you're right, it's really hard for one person to do everything the idiot on the phone tells you (even if the idiot is me.) (Though one of my most memorable phone-interventions was with a guy whose wife was having a baby,and mostly that involved keeping him from doing things: "The head's out--should I pull on it now?" "NO!")

I do wish 911 operators would quit telling people "Don't hang up the phone--stay on the phone with me..." You can't stay on the phone AND do CPR AND keep pressure on that artery, etc. There's no REASON to make people stay on the phone when they should be doing something else. We didn't have 911 service when I was first in EMS--we had "the fire phone" that rang in the houses of all the VFD/EMS members. So we had direct contact with the person calling in.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-06-29 10:50 pm (UTC)
It's not easy. We had a guy one time who was a) large and b) in the middle of a large waterbed. You cannot do CPR on a waterbed *at all*. But you also have a heckuva time getting someone out of a waterbed (lift one end, the other end sinks.) Trying to get the backboard under him, and then us in a position to skid it (and it doesn't skid well on a waterbed either.) Normally, you can get up on the bed--but if you get up on a waterbed, trying to kneel on it...you can imagine.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-06-29 11:07 pm (UTC)
A hard surface is better, but the unfortunate truth is that we still, in this day and age, with professionals on the scene, lose most of the time. For the rare triumph, it's worth trying. So no, the bed didn't completely nullify your efforts, even though the floor would've given you some mechanical advantage...but you tried. You did what you could.

OTOH, that doctor who found Jackson not breathing in bed, but with a pulse, and started CPR on the bed? No, no, no. Broke some basic rules there.

E.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2009-06-29 11:20 pm (UTC)
Some doctors don't adhere to the standards. There are all sorts of reasons, but I suspect one it maintaining autonomy.

My guess--and this is only a guess--is that as an acquaintance or friend, and also physician, his mind blurred with shock--it wasn't "a patient" lying there, it was "my friend." Many hospital based doctors never have to face real familiarity with the person who just collapsed. We had a paramedic who came unglued one time when the elderly lady badly hurt had been his third grade teacher. I had a brief problem once with a young woman hurt in a car wreck whom I mistook for a friend's younger sister. In small towns, everybody does know everybody, so people have to figure out how to cope, but it's possible that the doctor had that working against a clear head. Also--he wasn't in his hospital, with nurses and a crash cart standing by. His usual routine (assuming he'd handled many such cases) wasn't there to sustain him.

But judging by the reports only, and with no inside knowledge, he made some mistakes. That being said, and depending on the cause, getting Jackson off the bed onto the floor and immediately instituting respiratory support (if available) still might have ended in Jackson's death. Some problems CPR won't fix.
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[User Picture]From: carbonel
2009-06-28 04:40 pm (UTC)
CPR, several times, when I was working as a nurse, but never in a situation where it was ultimately of use, because they were all dying of other things, and heart failure was pretty much a side effect.
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[User Picture]From: mirtlemist
2009-06-28 04:53 pm (UTC)
Yes, on my husband, who choked while simply drinking a glass of water. He was totally unable to breathe. I did the Heimlich, which was difficult because he's a big guy and I'm much smaller, but it worked.
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[User Picture]From: jenrose1
2009-06-28 08:03 pm (UTC)
Heimlich, on my child, many times, never worked per se due to her anatomy, had to go for finger sweeps, which did work.

The culprits? Taco chips (making a nifty little valve on her trachea.... would flip up during the heimlich and back down when she tried to take a breath... fun... not) and apple bits that people had thoughtfully pre-cut into chunks for her.

She does great with whole apples, scrapes off what she can chew. But for a long time, chunked apples were incredibly dangerous for her.
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[User Picture]From: jenrose1
2009-06-28 08:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, and when I say finger sweeps, I mean, "Sliding my pinky all the way down the side of her throat to pull things off of her trachea."

Most finger sweeps do not go back that far, but I had no choice, she was turning blue and going limp.
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