Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: First Aid
Fri, 16 Apr 1999 14:28:00 -0600
I have been in a lot of first aid classes where instructors work hard at
making sure you don't hurt the patient. That is quite admirable. However,
people need to understand the consequences of acting and of NOT acting.
When working on my EMT certificate I had to work for 24 hours in an ER.
During a busy Friday night an man in his 60's-70's was rolled in. The
paramedics were performing CPR and got a another call. I was told to
continue CPR. (His breathing was being done by a respirator, I only had to
do compressions.) I had been trained in CPR for many years and thought I
new what I was doing. A nurse walked by, looked at what I was doing and
asked me if I was going to play with his chest while he died or perform CPR
and keep him alive. The next compression I broke several ribs. She said
good job, keep pumping that hard. If you aren't compressing the heart, you
aren't doing any good.
I understand the concerns of doing damage and the resulting actions that may
come your way. However, I have never seen them. In the past ten years,
there have been 13 lawsuits against EMT's and Paramedic's and those were all
ambulance based issues. You must make a decision to keep someone alive or
worry about being sued. I know which side I want to land on. Keeping
someone alive. I always figured if I was on the stand, I could respond
with, I am glad I was able to keep them alive so they could sue me.
Yours in Scouting
12340 W. Alameda Pkwy., Lakewood, CO 80228-2841
Eagle Class of 69, Vigil, Denver Area Council