CPR on the 4th of July

posted July 3rd, 2012 by John B.

CPR on the 4th of July, 2012

Like many of you, I have taken many years of First Aid, CPR, & AED.  I’m very versed with the history and evolution of the practice of CPR.  I coach a number of sports during the year and am very involved with the local Boy Scout Troop of 52 Scouts.  I consider this skill very valuable for anybody to have.  This specific training and knowledge can be life saving at the very moment needed.

This 4th of July my family and I decided to vacation on the beautiful beaches of Oregon.  One of our favorite things to do is to get up very early in the morning and go beach combing.  We look for sea shells during low tide.  This vacation was no different.  People were mingling about in their own thoughts, sipping coffee, avoiding the unavoidable wave that will make them cold, gathering those special shells, and a dog or two running about.

My wife, son, and I were headed back to our condo for breakfast.  On our way back we noticed a young girl screaming on the phone next to a beached log.  To our horror, the young lady was not standing next to a wet log on the beach, but next to a body on the beach. The body was face down in the sand towards the water.   The girl on the phone screamed for any help and I ran to do all I could.  She was on the phone to 9-1-1 already, so I started to check the person in the water for vital signs.

Quick assessment (SITREP) was that the person was an older lady, not breathing, no pulse could be felt, her body was still warm, and she was completely wet.  Another man and I quickly moved her, so her head was away and out of the water and on a slight slope.  She was warm, but nodoby knew how long she had been in the condition we had found her.

I beganthe current CPR compressions and was counting to myself to keep some sanity.  She had some predigested bodily fluids in her nose and mouth and I was very glad that the current CPR procedures only called for 2 minutes of compresions with a reassessment.  One of the ladies that were trying to help wanted to do the rescue breathing.  I told her it wasn’t part of the current CPR procedures, but figured it couldn’t hurt (GOD bless her heart).   She tried two or three times, but quite after she couldn’t handle what she was doing.  In the process she started to gag at the realization of the smell and fluids.  This process is not like what we see in the movies!

This is important to note:  A dead person will always remain dead…100% of the time….if you do nothing. So, if you do CPR as soon as possible, the chances are greater for survival than remaining 100% dead.  The chances of survival are not that high to begin with.  In all the CPR cases there are only about a 3-4% chance that a dead person is revived.  Wouldn’t you like to try for thet 3-4% at least.

After doing about 10 to 15 minutes of CPR the first responders arrived.  I kept doing my compressions as they arrived on the scene.  The responders had to carry a great amount of gear through the sand and water to get to our location.  I want to applaud the Lincoln City, Oregon first responders for their prompt response.  They were all very professional about this bad situation.  I was tired, but glad to try my best.

I also assisted in attaching the AED machine and let the fire fighter take over CPR.  The positive outlook for the lady didn’t look good as they took her away in the surf rescue vehicle.  I prayed for the family and wished she was on her way to a better place.

Even though my efforts were not successful this time, I highly encourage all of you to learn these life saving techniques.  I would want somebody who knew these techniques to help any one of my family if they ever needed it.

I’d also encourage all of you to become blood, organ donors, and bone marrow donors as well.  If you are wondering… I have been an organ donor since 1986, learn 1st Aid & CPR (with AED) since 1990, on the bone marrow donor list since 2004, and I donate blood to the American Red Cross since 1989 and as my schedule allows.

Have a great 4th of July this 2012 season and hug your family members a little tighter this year.  Semper Fi & GOD Speed.

John-

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