Posted by: old_user on Apr-18-07 3:41 PM (EST)
As a 22-year paramedic, I'm used to seeing the CPR changes come and go. We come in and immediately do our advanced thing with the drugs and equipment. Most of the time, the CPR changes never seemed to make much difference in survival rates. The latest changes, however, are significant enough to warrant close attention.
AHA came out with a recent change suggesting that paramedics do an uninterrupted two minutes of CPR before any advanced techniques. It moves the blood about so that some oxygen reaches the heart before we try to jump-start it. IIRC, the studies now suggest a *40%* increase in survival rates with this simple change, and I've personally seen an improvement in save rates.
As far as the Heimlich Maneuver for a drowning patient, I dunno. The chest compressions of good CPR can generate enough intra-thoracic pressure to dislodge foreign bodies in the airway, much less water. Personally, I wouldn't obsess about it. If the airway is open and rescue breaths go in and out, then proceed as trained.
So, moral of the story: quick application of good CPR works, and it works well. But, if no-one does CPR at all, then it's all a moot point. Tom is right--if someone on your trip is to have any chance at all, the other paddlers on the trip need to have training. CPR and First Aid are essential skills for all paddlers. If you don't know the skill, take a class! If you learned CPR more than a couple of years ago and haven't done a refresher yet, get that refresher.
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Posted by: old_user on Jan-26-08 4:26 PM (EST)
Hi, thanks....that was the underlying point...there is some new information so make a point of learning skills - and they staying current. TOM