Pony Party:CPR

In the next week or so I have to renew my PALS, ( pediatric advanced life support) a requirement of my institution along with BLS (basic life support) I also maintain my ACLS (advanced cardiac life support). I think all RNs have to have BLS and then maintaining the other two is a matter of either institutional policy or personal preference. There is a rumor that PALS has changed again so I am a little nervous about renewing.

I thought I would take this opportunity to mention that CPR is a handy skill to have given that many cardiac events happen in the home/community setting. However, unlike on TV CPR alone is often not sufficient. The survival rate for CPR along outside of the hospital is only about six percent but the survival rate improves to about 50 percent when combined with an AED. An AED is an automated external defibrillator. AEDs are very easy to use. Once you place the pad on the victim, the machine analyzes the rhythm to determine if it is “shockable”, and then prepares to do so with clear instructions. I can imagine a time when AEDs come down in price enough and they will be feasible for home use. Many large offices and public buildings have them. If your employer does not have them, encourage them to do so.

Getting certified is relatively easy and many local community organizations offer classes.

I admit I have never done it in an out of hospital setting, so I would be as nervous as you. You are covered by the ” good Samaritan” law if you do administer it and things don’t go well. Only in the United States would somebody actually have to worry about a law suit.

I should caution that surviving a cardiac event does not necessarily mean full recovery. If the brain is deprived of oxygen for too long there can be permanent damage. I work in a pediatric setting and I think our success rate with also owes to the fact that children are less likely to have any prior cardiac or lung damage compared to adults although in our particular population damage to both of those organs is a side effect of treatment in some cases.

Here is a quick guide to impending signs of heart attack or stroke. Note…. Women may not exhibit the classic signs that men do when experiencing a heart attack.

Here is a quick introduction to CPR.

Pets can also benefit form CPR.

If you remember nothing else :

A- Airway ( You need to have one)

B- Breathing ( Are they breathing or not)

C- Circulation ( Is there a pulse)

You will be asked these questions if you call 911.

The guidelines changed slightly between 2005 and this year but the underlying principles are the same.

This seems a bit boring for a pony party but you might actually use it some day.


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  1. Hope y’all ahve had a good day.

  2. I was certified for CPR way back when…I should get re-certified.  Thanks!

  3. should have induced some embarrassment choking…

  4. It deserves a rec too.  I love the pet CPR video.  

  5. We have a code team and because I am supervisor I am always on it.

    One time a parent stopped me in the hall to voice some concerns and my beeper went off calling a “Harvey team” which is what we call a code and I just took off mid conversation. I tracked her down to apologize and explain, and she said she knew what a “Harvey team” was and said,” Well, I feel better knowing you can run fast when you have to.”

  6. three little tykes and three tykerinas.  Everybody’s very squealy.  My son has a friend over tonight.  His dad just left sort of ashen faced after my son told him we just had puppies.  I usually don’t let anyone new around the puppies until they get their first parvo vaccination but I knew it would be look and no touch.  German Shepherds are large dogs so ummm right after birth it sort of looks like well….right after birth.  Everything was all neat and tidy but the room has that damp mossy amniotic birth smell and Fallon’s uterus is still contracting down and it was about human size when this biz started so there is a bit of discharge here and there ya know and she won’t be getting a bath until later because she is not bathable until everything has normalized.  I try not to make too much fun of guys but really….silly guys….the miracle of birth sightings don’t kick in for another two days or so 😉

  7. I imagine you will be tethered to home for a while… where is the whelping area?

  8. I had done one about eight years ago and this one seemed pretty different. Less breathing and more compressions and don’t check for a pulse on adults. There will be a yearly refresher class so, next time, there shouldn’t be that much difference.

    I didn’t know that if you call 911 from a cell phone, it is very important to give the location, because, if the dispatcher has to trace back to the call, the Emergency Responders might get sent to the address that the cell phone is billed to. The instructor said that it is a good idea to have a landline where there is a history of heart problems.

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