Earlier this week I was at a three-day conference. Towards the end of the first day, someone suddenly fell from his seat. A volunteer shouted, “doctor, doctor, there is an emergency.” There was a lady doctor in the audience who rushed towards the person.
At the CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training program which I undertook a few years ago at the Kokilaben Ambani Hospital and again earlier this year during the disaster management training conducted by the BMC, we were trained to offer the CPR. The symptoms of someone needs CPR are: the person suddenly becomes unconscious/unresponsive, there is no pulse, and the person is short of breathing.
I realised this might be a case for CPR. I rushed from my seat which was a couple rows below the patient’s row. I reached the location where some people had already assembled. The lady doctor who was there said no pulse.
I asked shall we offer CPR? She immediately said Yes. With the help of a few people, we moved the person to the plane surface.
The doctor started giving CPR. I asked the people around to call an ambulance. After about 30 counts of CPR the doctor asked someone to give mouth to mouth rescue breathing. The person was a bit concerned for the direct mouth to mouth breathing. I recollected what we were taught. I gave my handkerchief and he started to give mouth to mouth breathing.
After two mouth to mouth breathing, I started giving CPR. The chest compression with hands and mouth to mouth breathing cycle continued till about 5 minutes. After that, the person responded.
It was decided to move him to the nearby hospital.
In the absence of CPR, perhaps he would not have survived to be taken to the hospital. CPR helps in sustaining the patient until the medical help arrives. CPR partially facilitates the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain and heart.
The next day at the conference it was declared that the person died later in the night.
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In the hindsight, I think a decision to take him to the hospital might be a mistake. CPR helps until the medical help arrives. CPR was stopped to take him to the hospital. It would have better had the people who decided to take him to the hospital waited until the cardiac ambulance arrived and took over the patient.
A lesson learned.
The availability of AED machine could have helped.
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What is AED Machine?
AED (Automated External Defibrillators) machine helps in making the heart regain its rhythm by giving an electric shock. This machine is used in case of cardiac arrest. Rather than waiting for an ambulance, using the AED machine after immediate CPR can save lives.
It is important to have one AED machine at every important public place and commercial and housing societies.
Emergency management is a skill. It is a very important life-saving skill.
Knowing when to give CPR, how to give CPR, what steps are required parallelly and using AED machine everything matter.
Everyone should undertake basic emergency management training. Your training can save the life of your near and dear ones and everyone around you in case of an emergency.
“Every person who prepares is one less person who panics in a crisis.” (attributed to Mike Adamson, British Red Cross)
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