Warning: CPR can be exhausting

by on June 7, 2012 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

You may know that medical professionals have changed their recommendations for CPR over the years: Decades ago, solo life-savers completed 15 compressions to one breath. Now it’s nonstop compressions for the general public, or 30 compressions to two breaths for medical professionals.

Either way, emergency-medical technicians say the newer process may be exhausting to people, and that can lead to accidents.

Tragic case
Example: Santa Clara High School softball coach John Rahbar collapsed while retrieving softballs after practice. Students called school nurse Eileen Bowden, who was just finishing for the day. She performed CPR until EMTs arrived. Their efforts saved his life.

But Bowden’s efforts may have been too much for her. She stood up, then collapsed. Her head hit a concrete sidewalk and began bleeding. She died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

Unavoidable accident? Perhaps.

But there are lessons for any supervisor from this hard case:

  • Make sure anyone who is trained to use CPR is in good physical condition. Annual testing might be a good idea to make sure people are still up to the task, because EMTs say that it requires heavy exertion to perform CPR during the time EMTs need to arrive on a scene.
  • After the exertion of CPR, the life-savers should be wary about getting up quickly. Bystanders should assist to make sure your company’s life-savers are not exhausted.
  • Consider training multiple workers on CPR and have them learn how to complete an exchange. That way, they’ll each have time to rest.

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