Thursday, December 27, 2007

Why you should know CPR

Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public are sitting on the couch relaxing after a busy Christmas. All of a sudden Mr. Public clutches his chest and falls over onto the floor.

Mrs. Public calls 911 and starts CPR. 10 minutes later, EMS arrives with their portable electricity and shocks Mr. Public's VFib into asystole. Two rounds of drugs get him back. By the time he gets to the ER, he has a pulse of 80, a pressure of 120/50, and he's trying to breathe.

A diagnosis of MI with resulting cardiac arrest earns him a transfer to the Cardiac Hospital in the Big City, where they are much better equipped to handle mostly dead guys.

Mr. and Mrs. Public are in their early 50's. They have been married for 34 years. If he ever says the words, "Happy 35th Anniversary, honey," it will be because of his wife.

Cardiac arrest with a 10 minute down time and no CPR prior to EMS arrival results in a funeral 99.9% of the time. Cardiac arrest with a 10 minute down time and immediate bystander CPR gives him a fighting chance.

His vitals remained stable throughout the transport and into the cath lab.

Strong work, Mrs. Public.


Mom In Scrubs said...


As a cath lab nurse at a Cardiac Hodpital in the Big City I stand and cheer.

I once told my husband how to do CPR on me as I lay on the floor thinking I was going to die of VT/VF. I think I scared the shit out of him.

Nothing like telling the person kneeling beside you, "If I pass out, put your hands right here and pump as hard as you can until the ambulance gets here."


~SUV Mama~ said...

A wonderful reminder. I'm making the husband read this. And then maybe I'll work on having my CPR skills updated, just in case.

Happy New Year, Monkey Girl!

Nurse Betty said...


Mrs. Public sounds like a pretty cool customer.

Amy said...

A colleague's husband had a VF arrest at 6:30 in the morning about 6 years ago (when he was 34). Thanks to colleague keeping it together, he survived to be diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, and got a brand new heart for his 35th birthday. I can't imagine ever having to do CPR on my spouse (it's nerve-wracking enough on total strangers!), but I hope I'd be able to not completely freak out. Mr. Public owes Mrs. a nice present.

ERnursey said...

coupled with post-arrest hypothermia therapy I have seen some pretty amazing things lately.