Re: CPR for FIRST-AID and Life Saving MB
James Brown (aa473@CLEVELAND.FREENET.EDU)
Thu, 4 Mar 1993 08:08:24 -0500
> Just one more CPR question: A scout can work on the First Aid
> merit badge at 11 or 12 years old. BUT, isn't there a minimum
> age for the RED CROSS CPR certification? MY understanding is
> that a younger scout really can't get CPR certified. I also
> seem to recall that full CPR certification is required for
> BSA Life guard.
It has been a couple of years since I was an instructor but at
that time there was no minimum age. I taught all three of my
daughters CPR when they were approx 6 or 7. (Regularly had the
"Annies" at home between picking them up at RC and taking them
to class.) Granted I never "issued a card" to them but, using the
same standard I used in deciding if my class passed, I would have
stood a chance with them working on me. (Note: thats the best
you can say regardless of who is doing CPR. Most of my students
over the years were EMT-A candidates or functioning EMT-As taking
the required refresher. With them it wasn't a matter of if but
when they used the skill. They had to know it well enough to do
it right but also to know they were taking a dead person and
attempting to bring them back to life. The former of course to
give the victim a chance the later to prevent burnout and to
minimize frustration at low success rates. (Under ideal conditions
CPR has a 20 -30 % success rate. On a squad patient is often in
full arrest when squad is called even with reasonable response time
it is usually too late to start a successful "Code" if CPR hasn't
already been started. [I'm sure there should have been a couple
of paragraphs above but can't decide were. :-) )
> Perhaps the CPR certification issue should be separate from the
> basic first aid skills in the First Aid merit badge,
NO NO NO CPR may be the most important thing they learn. (see above)
> or maybe
> there should be some BSA EMT (Emergency medical technition) program
> like BSA life guard. (?) Thoughts?
EMT training is regulated by law in all states based on Federal
standards. Course candidates must be 18 and High School grads.
Training time is 100 or more hours depending on the state.
When I was a post advisor to a "rescue" post we did hold the
class for everyone but we could not let them take the state
exam. Post members voted for class knowing the rules so we
ran it. (Plus due to the nature of the sponsoring squads activity
it was conceivable one of them could be the last person standing
on a scene that went very wrong. :-( (Thank God it never happened.)
> I think that it is important
> for a scout to learn the basic skills in first aid early. But
> if a young scout can not get a red cross CPR certificate, then
> it should be a separate requirement, and not HALF train scouts
> in CPR that could cause a potential for problems if attempted,
> and NOT properly certified. (?)
> The guy that did our Lifesaving training, is one of the head guys
> for life guards at our town pools. The guy that does first aid
> is from the town Paramedics. But it seems that with out the
> RED CROSS card, they each want to RE-run the 3 hours of CPR, to
> make sure what THEY think is important is covered, and since they
> sign they card, each wants to make sure of each scouts knowledge
> and skill. I can see their points, but the scouts don't!
In my EMT classes I always insisted candidates take basic CPR
before start of class. I ran them through it again fo two reasons.
1. I was "signing their card", potentially to work on me or my family.
2. More important CPR is done in a high stress situation. The skill
must be a habit and done right even when stress causes the mind to go
blank (it does happen even to a "Pro").
If the instructors aren't explaining it that way to the boys maybe
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City