Friday, 26 February 2010

The Importance Of Training...

Doin' it right:
"I have no idea how long we were working on her but we were going through our drills, Bob ventilating, me compressing her sternum and checking her pulse. We were sweating profusely and I was hoping the ambulance crew would hurry up. Suddenly, I got a pulse and saw her pupils twitch and I remember the excitement just like it was yesterday. I shouted out, "Fucking hell, I've got a pulse". Then a strange voice behind me said, "That's right mate, I know, stop compressions". I looked round and it was a paramedic. Again, like it was yesterday, I remember asking how he knew I'd suddenly found a pulse. He pointed to a piece of equipment, similar to a `Minuteman Resuscitator` and said that they had been monitoring us for a few minutes, pointing to electrodes that they had attached to her chest. He said we were doing just fine and so there was no need for them to intervene at that stage. Neither of us had noticed their arrival, or remembered answering their questions or had seen them attach their equipment to our casualty."
Doin' it wrong:
Sophie Konderak had a cardiac arrest moments after starting a training session at a leisure centre.

The 16-year-old was dragged from the water unconscious and young lifeguard Katy Butler began cardiopulmonary resuscitation - mouth-to-mouth breathing and chest compressions.

Miss Butler, 23, who had never tried to revive a swimmer before, believed she had saved Sophie when she started breathing again.

However, she did not take the crucial step of checking for a pulse - to determine whether the heart had restarted - and unwittingly left Sophie dying on the wet floor.

Paramedics arrived four minutes later and resumed CPR, only to be asked by one of the lifeguards: 'Why are you doing CPR? She's alive,' the hearing was told.
Poor Kathy Butler will no doubt blame herself, but she should blame her training, if one can dignify it with that word:
The inquest heard the lifeguards had been trained by the Royal Life Saving Society, a charity which provides training and education in lifesaving.

Recording a narrative verdict, coroner Catherine Mason said she would write to the Resuscitation Council of the UK, which provides guidelines for life-saving techniques, to ask it to amend its training guidelines to include checking for a pulse.
I did my training in First Aid (a long, long time ago, and my certificate has now lapsed) with (I think?) the St John's Ambulance as contractors, and they impressed on us that we never, never consider life extinct unless the head is separate from the body, and only to stop our efforts when the paramedics arrive.

Hopefully, none of them will be this guy:
A paramedic refused to resuscitate a man he had been called out to treat and then told a series of lies to cover his tracks, a court heard today.

Karl Harris, 45, told his less-experienced colleague there was ‘no point’ in attempting to resuscitate Barry Baker after the pair were sent to his home, the court was told.
For once, I'm lost for words...

3 comments:

John R said...

Maybe Karl Harris should now be killed as some sort of compensation for the life he robbed?

English Viking said...

I remember seeing a documentary about a US hospital in the Bronx area of New York. Obviously busy.

One of the Drs said something along the lines of 'I have long since stopped trying to assess the prospects of a seriously injured patient. I have seen patients with horrendous, life ending injuries, no pulse, no breathing. They lived and made a full recovery. I have seen patients with what appear to be quite survivable injuries, good vital signs, conscious and even laughing with the staff. Two hours later they were dead.'

We NEVER know when a life is over. Fight for it.

JuliaM said...

"Maybe Karl Harris should now be killed as some sort of compensation for the life he robbed?"

If there was any justice, he'd serve time. I doubt he will, though.

"We NEVER know when a life is over. "

Indeed.