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CPR - theory or experience?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

Real life experience of CPR?

  • yes, with survival of injured person

    Votes: 7 50.0%
  • yes, no survival

    Votes: 3 21.4%
  • bystander/onlooker

    Votes: 2 14.3%
  • never

    Votes: 2 14.3%

  • Total voters


Erection Supervisor ;)
Jan 19, 2001
Quite a morbid subject to talk about around a beach bar...
but how many of you teach MFA/EFR other and have had real life experience in CPR?
In a diving context I have no experience but as a cabin crew member I have performed CPR 3 times (in 24 years of flying), thankfully with a 100% success rate. Not a pleasant experience at all; over the years we have been taught many different compression ventilation ratio's but I have stuck to the 1:6 (that I was initially taught when I first learnt to dive) when doing it for real. Apart from the fear aspect of the experience my overwhelming memory is how much physical effort it took.
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Hi Alison
hell... what was the cause for inflight CPR? You're lucky he survived..you must have felt quite relieved.
did you ever wonder while you were doing it, if you were doing it right?
Apparently the success rate is only around 5% (in drowning causes).
I have no Idea what the cause was Im not a doc, but quite often when passengers feel verry ill during a flight they will be brought down to the service area behind the cockpit for some space and privacy, unfortunatley 3 of them took a turn for the worse and suffered cardiac arrest. Cant say as I remember if we ever thought we were doing it right we just got on with it. The biggest worry was wether or not we should do it or wether I just couldnt find a pulse. I guess I was luckier than the other girls having been taught CPR, both for diving and as I was a teenager I did loads of life saving certificates.
In these 3 cases we were only about 10 minutes from landing for one of them and diverted to another airport for the other two, again we were fortunate to be within half an hour away not out over the Pacific.
I think that the cause may be down to the stress of some peoples fear of flying, just a guess though but it happens more often than you think.
We had a customer have a heart attack at our car rental counter. I watched but did not participate in the CPR, but my friend performed CPR on an outraged customer who's credit card was over his limit. He ranted and raved at our rental agent for a full 10 minutes yelling at the top of his lungs. Finally his daughter sheepishly tapped her dad on the shoulder and told him that she had borrowed his credit card a spent about $700.00. He turned and and faced her enraged and dropped to the floor. My friend started CPR within one minute and kept it up for 15 minutes until paramedics arrived. He was pronouced dead at the scene. His wife was still at the airport terminal unaware of what was going on and waiting with the luggage. I really felt bad for the daughter who was completly distaught and blaming herself for her father death.
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I don't teach MFA or EFR...but I've been in on several CPRs.
The poll doesn't allow for us to respond "Both"-- some people made it, some didn't.
One was a respiratory arrest due to a medication reaction.
Fortunately, it was in the OR, so everything turned out okay.
I will say, after one of those, you don't need coffee for the rest of the day!
Those adrenals give ya quite a squeeze!
....Enough to feel pressure in the kidney area.
Hi Alison,

I'm curious about what you did with the heart attack victim when you had to land. I used to work as an FA and our airline's policy was that because you had to be safely strapped in for landing (assuring your own safety and that of other passengers in the event of an emergency), that meant that you had to stop CPR for landing. We were never taught CPR for that reason but many of us knew how to do it anyway. Now I hear that many airlines are training flight crew and FAs on how to use hand paddles.

How was it handled?

Pete Scott
Vancouver, BC
Hi Laminar
WE left two with the victim (horrible word) on landing, myself being one of the two on two occasions. I think back as it being just one of those times where rules had to be broken and a decision even in hindsight I wouldnt change.
I worked for Gulf Air, we had extensive training in first aid (three months), survival (one month), physical training (six months) as well as usual flight training. I did work as required on a private flight for over 10 years so we got additional courses to the other CC but GA are above average on crew Training, a brilliant company to work for :)
(sorry loose reply to much wine :) )
Year and a half on a ambulance and two on a mountain rescue group and I never done a CPR.

I've presence one of 25 min until the doctor came in and declare the death. This was on a train station after a multiple trauma from falling down the stairs. Was a hard and dramatic scene where they guys faced a strong hemorrhage and and hart arrest... each time they pumped...

During the mountain and rescue training's they didn't spend much time teaching CPR (you need a second degree on first aid to enter): they say that on a remote spot and with out immediate support is little chances to stabilize a victim. They instead spend lot's of time on the areas where we could really make a difference, like hemorrhages, trauma stabilization...

On other earlier courses they focus almost exclusively on it!
Having spent 12+ years in Ocean Rescue, having ben trained as, and worked as a Paramedic, I have performed CPR countless times. (And I taught it for 10 years as well)

Sometimes it brings someone back and genuinely influences their survival, and sometimes you were doing it in a vain attempt to try to bring someone back, and sometimes you did it because the procedues said you should do it (even though you knew it was pointless).

It isn't the cure all for sure. But I would have rather done it, and done it well, then not put in the effort at all.

Everyone should have the training, and hopefully they will never have to use it. But that and a cool head just might be the thing to save a life. Maybe the life of someone close to you.....
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I used to be a ST' Johns Ambulance man and I have been envolved in a couple of CPR events with all the people surviving.
In the 5 years that I was in the service, CPR has changed a lot in the way people are trained to do it. They used to say that a person receving CPR in the first three minutes had a better survival rate than a person receving it later. Then at the time I left the service they were saying that it made no differance when they got CPR because paramedics were the only ones with the expertise to make a differance.
the reason why i started this posting, is that i had my first experience of CPR about one month ago.

one of the Bangladeshi labourers off site was knocked off the supply boat into the water. he was concussed immediately and fell into the water.

i got the call to go and help as they couldn't find the island doctor. Orginally the call was for a body recovery as they couldnt' find him (it was 1000pm).

a minute later i got call that they had found him and that they were bringing him back to the island on the speedboat.

when the boat arrived the guy was covered in his own vomit and they had him perched between two benches on the boat. he looked like he was still gasping a little.

we got him onto the jetty and i started CPR until the doctor came, about 5 minutes later. His body was full to the brim of water. when i pumped his chest, blood, water and foam came out of his mouth.

i think it's the most unpleasant experience i have ever had. doctor came, shone a light into his pupils and they didn't dilate. pronounced him dead.

they just left him lying on the jetty in his sarong, discussing the details of his death. no dignity. all i could think about was his poor family back in Bangladesh and who was going to explain it to them.

life is so unimportant here, it's sickening.
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Tough Call

Hi Island Sands,
So sorry you had a death at the workplace, no matter how well prepared you are to intervene, it's depressing when any attempt fails.
I think we are trained to 'fight' for a patient's life until all hope is past...do you suppose it is possible that the laborers have a different cultural approach because they aren't exposed to modern medical techniques and equipment? If that's the case, it might explain the callous-seeming response to death. Possibly not what the group was feeling. A sudden death like this puts everyone is shock, and each person responds differently.
How frustrating to know there is a possibility of a work-related accident without a trained person among the crew.
It's so easy to speculate: Poor guy might have been badly concussed, had a momentary respiratory arrest, and with no airway support or positioning to allow fluids to drain out...he progressed to the inevitable cardiac arrest. The gasping might have been agonal breathing, literally the last gasp before death. If his brainstem was intact, or not...that's what you'd see.
Vomiting is a common occurance after respiratory arrest...sounds like he had no pulse or respirations when you arrived at the scene, eh?
Tough call, especially when you're dealing with a head injury and drowning....in hospital we are used to having suction and other backup equipment available. Unless his airway was emptied of water and vomit first, any breathing assist wasn't going to oxygenate him.
It was good of you to do what you could for him. Whether you gets verbal recognition from the work crew, I'm sure they were grateful that you tried, and that you knew what could help him.
No matter how many years you put into such a job, it never gets easier seeing someone in distress.
Perhaps there is a shred of comfort knowing he didn't suffer for a prolonged time. His family might appreciate hearing that.
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Island sands I think Oceanswimmer has some sound words regarding the poor chap who died. I was in a similar situation about 6 years ago (old guy went out swimming at dusk, got hit by a larger than normal wave, lost consciousness, started to drown - only him, me and his wife at the beach - dragged him in and as I had no lifesaving training I managed to crack a few ribs in an over zealous attempt - all the white foam is apparently a protein formed when sea water enters the vocal tract/throat just prior to drowning - the end result was that he lived, just. In hospital for a while and severely traumatised).

Anyway, the thoughts stay with you for a while. Just take it easy and talk to people if you need. It is a traumatic experience.
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Ocean Swimmer, portinfer

thanks guys. i had bad dreams about it for about two weeks and also the AIDS thing was bugging me... but my view was that i couldn't just leave him there, it was a natural reaction to do what needed to be done at the time.

could the blood have been from an internal injury (the concussion?)

afterwards, i kept rethinking the whole thing and wondered if i had done things differently if he may have lived. i did it "by the book" and still wondered if was doing it right. awful feeling.

so that's what the white foam is.. i wondered.

when i gave him compressions you could hear the water in his body, gurgling. and it dribbled out of his mouth. during the rescue breathing i could hardly get any air down.. kept retilting the head but it was like blowing into a milkshake with a straw.

i hope never to have that experience again. that poor gentleman - coming all the way from Bangladesh to Maldives to work like a dog and feed his family - an ilusion of a future over in minutes.
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Hi Island Sands,
I think he may have had some resistance to rescue breathing for a number of reasons:
1. Laryngospasm due to water in the trachea, esp. salt water, or an amazingly small volume (like 10cc) of any kind of water.
2. water in the lungs: widens the gap in the fine airways (alveoli) due to swelling of the tissues---> again, a reaction to the presence of water, vomit, or both.
3. Possible neck injury; if he recieved a blow to the head, there might have been some neck injury overlooked....hard to know in the dark and the conditions you had....and you did right to re-position the head.
4. It takes mighty force to inflate another's lungs when they are unconscious, just a fact.
5. Possibly full stomach, pressing on the diaphragm towards the lungs---> more resistance. Re-postioning won't help unless you have the victim on an absolutely flat surface that elevates the head, like a rescue-board.
6. The AIDS thing is a non-issue unless the guy was loaded with it and had in fact converted from HIV+ to AIDS. Someone else might have the data, but I've never heard of anyone getting AIDS from doing CPR.
7. Talk about it and get it out of your system. Your reaction is normal, and one of the reasons firemen, EMTs and Health Caregivers are 'debriefed' after an event like yours.
8. Be assured you did fine and don't be afraid to use the situation to learn from. That too is normal and a good sign.
Take care of you and get some time off soon!
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I'd love to give you karma Island_sands but I've got to spread it around first...:)

Hey girl! Have a hug from me :) You did your best, no one can do better than that can they, it sounds like the poor guy had been left to long without any form of treatment before you got to him. Its not your fault he's dead nor the fault of his co-workers for not doing anything, just be grateful you know how to give CPR; one day it may make a difference and thats a good feeling. Time is a great healer and dont blame yourself :)
thanks to all... Ocean Swimmer your info is very useful... i can use it for training CPR (now i have a much better what i am teaching about!)

on to more happier stuff... check out what i saw this morning on the dive... (in fish, photos, regulations).
Drowning victims

I did a few short CPR coruses in the army, but it was mostly focused on different kinds of trauma, I don't rememeber if there was anything specific on drowning victims.
Is there any special thing that is possible to do inorder to take suspected water out of the lungs? like an upside-down heimlich of some sort?
Though if I remember correct, wet lung tissue just doesn't work, so it might not help anyway...
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