Wendie Howland (WAHowland@AOL.COM)
Tue, 4 Nov 1997 20:56:34 -0500
A QUESTION WAS ASKED regarding the advisability of removing CPR as a
requirement for First Class and requiring professional CPR instruction for
First Aid MB...
>The other issue is the people teaching the CPR. Most often they are troop
>guides that have no training at all. Or, a SM or ASM that has had only a>
>community CPR class or none at all.
>The change that should be made:
>Remove the requirement form 1st class
>Change the requirement in First Aid MB to mandate the CPR be taught by a
>Cer. Instructor and the scouts meet current AHA standards. (AHA is usually
>1yr ahead of the Red Cross)
In my experience (lotta yrs as a critical care nurse, AHA CPR (BCLS and ACLS)
instructor, and 7 yrs as a Scouter) it is critical to have a qualified
instructor for any MB... It is inexcusable to have an untrained instructor,
no matter how well-intentioned. CPR instructors take a pretty exhaustive
course in not only the nuts and bolts of how to assess for need and perform
CPR, but how to TEACH it effectively, including how to evaluate your learners
for proper performance. Use us. A lotta fire depts have certified
instructors, call your local hospital and ask for the nursing education
office, call the local AHA or ARC office. We love to do it...and I don't know
anybody who does it for money.
AND ALSO POSTED:
>A 13 year old might not be strong enough to perform CPR on an adult, but he
>would probably be strong enough to perform CPR on and 11 year old, or a 6
>year old, or an infant - individuals who he might be more likely to find
>need of assistance.
AHA does not teach Heartsaver learners (the appropriate level for Scout
CPRtructed airway management (biggest cause of cardiac arrest in children and
infants is obstr airway) and CPR to babysitter-aged kids, but I am not sure
if this is still available. Babies are very different. And you can really
hurt a kid (or baby) by compressing too far or blowing too hard.
> Using the
>arguement (sic) of strength, I would put an age limit of 15 for lifesaving
>badge because most younger scouts are not strong enough to perform swimming
>rescues even with equipment.
One of the outstanding developments in Scouting (with origins from Ernest
Thompson Seton back in the 1902-4 range) is the concept of awarding
recognition for performance *to a standard*, rather than a competition. All
MB are based on this. For my money, if a kid is too small at 16 to do
effective CPR, rescue a drowning victim, or climb into a capsized canoe, I
don't give him the MB. MB's are not granted by age. And if he's a moose (like
some kids we all know) at 12 and does it right, he gets it.
LAST: (I promise)
>primarily used by the medical community and geared toward them. The ARC is
>geared toward the community.
Such a sweeping statement is misleading. This is very variable. In Seattle
King County in the 80's thousands of lay people were taught CPR by the AHA,
and the AHA continues to have a VERY strong community-teaching base. Yes, the
AHA develops standards for medical professionals ion advanced care too, and
trains advanced professionals, but they do not shirk or do an inadequate or
half-hearted (sorry, couldn't resist) job of training lay persons.
In conclusion (they cheered):
I agree with the poster that says that kids can adequately recognize the need
for CPR, and that even half-fast (another pun here, grey area) CPR done by an
inadequately trained person MAY save a life in a desperate situation. But
this is not an excuse for half-fast training. Furthermore, I believe the
First Aid MB should really mean something, and therefore the CPR section
should be taught, and the kids tested by, a professionally trained instructor
to AHA or ARC standards. Anything less, though well-meant, again, is
inadequate and sends a poor message about standards of excellence to the boys
and the community.
Just my $.02 (whew)
ASM T44 Pocasset MA
Cape Cod & Islands Council
Abake MiSaNaKe Lodge #393
I useta be an Eagle...
'... But we're getting out of Gilwell while we can!'
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City