Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Resuscitating life

It is said that a promising young man died doing what he liked - the triathlon. The 17 year old youth collapsed at the end of his trials, which he had come in second place. He died of heart failure at a hospital less than 2 hours later. Many people have weighed in on what could have been done to have given him at a better chance at life, including the administration of CPR and the use of a defibrillator. More people questioned why a defibrillator - an expensive equipment costing $3000 - $4000 - was not available, as if it is THE equipment that could have made the difference.

As a Certified First Aider, I think that the 3 persons on the scene who claimed that they knew CPR should have done what they had been trained to do. Performing CPR has the same effect as a defibrillator - only it takes much more effort, but, when done properly, is just as effective. If the 3 decided that CPR was not necessary because the victim had a pulse, then even if a defib is available, do you think they will use it? I suspect not, but we will never know now. So the availability of a defib is an albatross.

Let's not blame the equipment. It is the process that is wrong. And a young person paid the price for it.

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