Half Assed CPR

If there’s one thing that irritates the heck out of me now is when people do poor quality CPR. The new ACLS recommendations are that they be done at 100 bpm and to compress the chest adequately. You’re not supposed to pause to check for a pulse every 15 seconds. You not supposed to push down like you’re giving the person a massage.
Now if the person is a billion years old with terminal cancer, I’m not quite so irritated. However the point is if you’re going do it, you should do it right.
I don’t feel like getting in the discussion of the unofficial “slow code” but for everyone else, PUMP HARD. You should be sweating after two minutes! It means you just might be saving that person.

9 Responses to Half Assed CPR

  1. Officer Cynical says:

    I once did CPR on an 18-year-old guy who had keeled over in a parking lot. When a firefighter finally took over, I was exhausted. Later, my boss reviewed the in-car camera video, and told me I’d worked for all of 8 1/2 min. Never thought I could get that tired that fast. And the guy died anyway.

  2. When my students ask me about the right pressure, and if they wouldn’t hurt that person, I say “of course you’re not supposed to impale the heart on the spine, but just imagine that this is your ex, who took your whole first press/hand signed CD collection and has yet to return it. Give! Them! Back!” – that usually does the trick for all those who are too hesitant to pump hard enough.

  3. ArkieRN says:

    And for heaven’s sake, stop over ventilating!

  4. Julio says:

    And, for whatever it’s worth, these aren’t new recommendations! This has been in ACLS for a long time, but we have a hard time listening.

  5. Ben (PA-C) says:

    Yeah, don’t stop pumping until the paramedics arrive. Don’t stop to ventilate. I did my thesis on the new “continuous compression” CPR, and found that there is a good five to six minutes of reserve oxygen in the tissues, just pump it. Google CCCPR if you like.

  6. Ben (PA-C) says:

    …speaking to laymen rescuers anyway. Once delivered into professional hands, we can bag them and provide high flow O2. But the key is to keep the pump pressure up. Don’t stop!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Just my 2 cents as a non-medical person (I’m in IT) but with some (1.5 days a year) training in firefighting and life-saving techniques: They teach us how to compress and how fast, how to ventilate, when to do this and most important: to alert someone (911).

    We even get taught that compressions are most important, but ventilate when you can: 30 compressions, 2 ventilations. AED-training is also provided.

    We also get warned: Don’t get scared if you feel a rib cracking, it can happen. Especially in elder people.

    What scares me in the post above: I thought ACLS is a professional training. Why don’t the professionals know these things when they’re in the field?

    Training joke to keep the right pace: Both “Staying alive” by the Beegees and “Another one bites the dust” have the correct rythm. But if someone is listening, the last one isn’t socially aceptable…

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