Recently there was a young, and healthy female marathon runner that suffered a sudden cardiac arrest during a marathon. Bystander CPR was initiated until the paramedic’s were able to arrive. In a skillful manner, they began resuscitation efforts on the young woman, and was able to get her heart restarted. She was taken to a hospital via air ambulance, and is talking with family. I’m sure this young woman has a long and hard road of recovery ahead of her, but she is going to recover.
I wanted to share this with you all to express the importance of bystander CPR. Most of you may think that it’s the medications, the cardiac monitor’s, and the advanced airway placements that save people’s lives. I’m here today to tell you that isn’t true. Yes, those things do help, but it’s BASIC CPR that saves people’s lives. Had someone who knew CPR not began pumping on this woman’s chest immediately, she probably wouldn’t have survived.
This is my soapbox and I beg you all to become certified in CPR. At the department I work for, it takes only ten minutes of your time to learn CPR. It’s not hard, it’s rather easy. All you have to do is know your landmarks, and pump hard and fast. That’s it!
There is an urban legend that someone can sue you if your break their ribs, or cause another type of injury. Yes, anyone can sue anyone for any given reason, but as an untrained person, you are protected by the Good Samaritan Law. It states that as long as you don’t do something that isn’t in your scope of practice, you cant’ be held liable. If you crack open someone’s chest and start massaging their heart, then you will have a problem. I’ve been a paramedic for almost 20 years and if you don’t break ribs while doing CPR, then you aren’t doing it right.
Please do everyone you know a favor and take a moment to learn CPR. You could be the one that saves someone else’s family members life, or even one of yours.