Ever perform CPR?

The one skill everyone should have and no one should ever have to use. So have you used it?

My father suffered a massive MI Saturday night. He’d been a heart patient for 9 years and home defibrillators are waaay expensive so I got myself CPR certified in February. Thanks to the stress of the situation I had to be coached through the procedure by the 911 operator but once I got started the training came back to me. EMT’s said I saved his life.

Unfortunately he went into a coma and passed away Sunday night but at least I know I did my part when the chips were down.

{{{davmilasav}}} you have my deepest sympathy. that must have been really tough.
to answer your question, i’ve been certified in CPR (on and off) since i was 14 and have been certified to instruct it as well. i’ve never had to use it on a person, but did perform CPR on a friend’s dog once. the dog regained consciousness, but died the next day. :frowning:

Yes. On my cousin in law. Last Thanksgiving at my Moms house.

He was just gabbing away to my Wife when he passed out and fell out of his chair. My brother and I worked on him. He didn’t make it. He was in his late Forties.

Thanksgiving is gonna be pretty tough from now on.

Good for you, davmilasav. Bystander CPR is critically important to both the effectivenes of our treatments as well as the patients chances of survival.

St. Urho

davmilasav, sorry to hear about your loss.

As for your question, yes, I once did CPR on my dog. Although I managed to get air into her lungs and massage her heart, she was too far gone.

She died.


Sorry for your loss davmilasav, but you did a hell of a job. CPR rarely, if ever, saves lives, it keeps them around until someone with a defibulator and drugs can get the heart going. What you did is give your family a momentary pause to prepare for your father’s passing, and that is a gift whos weight is immesurable.

When I worked at a Boy Scout summer camp in the early '80s we were all CPR-certified. Never thought I’d have to use it, but one Family Night the obese, smoking dad of one of the Scouts keeled over with a heart attack. A couple of other camp counselors and I did CPR until the ambulance arrived; I still remember how nervous I was, and how aware of every passing moment.

IIRC, the guy spent quite awhile in the hospital but made a complete recovery - given his lifestyle, only until his next heart attack, I suppose.

Yeah, but only a couple of times, and only in the hospital, where help is readily available. CPR in the field rarely saves lives, but you did good. You bought your family the time to say goodbye.

davmilasav I’m so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. While it’s true CPR doesn’t save lives, it can keep the person breathing until the paramedics arrive. You did a good thing to try and keep your dad going til help arrived.

Thanks, everybody, for your support and well-wishes… It’s a little crazy here right now and SDMB is my break from the Reality Circus.

I was talking to my college roomie last night and I told her that all those years of marching uphill while playing French horn finally paid off. I’ve got lungs of steel, baby. The compressions really threw me off, though, for a few reasons:
A) My dad had wires holding his ribs to his sternum due to a bypass surgery. He always mentioned how much his chest hurt after receiving CPR. I could feel the wires shifting under my hand and I hated the idea of hurting him.
B) I was scared I would crack a rib and puncture a lung. I’ve since been told that if you’re doing it right, you’re cracking ribs. Still, eewww!
C) He was too heavy to lift off the sofa bed. Every time I pushed down, he sank into the mattress. I guess that’s what that damned bar that hits you in the middle of the back all night is actually for: CPR.

I’m surprised by the people doing pet CPR. How do you get a good airtight seal on the muzzle? Or do you use the nose instead?

I’ve performed CPR many times, it’s kinda a job requirement. Frequently you do break ribs by doing CPR, however, it rarely causes any major problems.

Bystander CPR is vitally important to allow EMS extra time to arrive on scene. Only thing better is to have your heart attack somewhere there is a defibulator on the wall next to the fire extinguisher.

The key to saving someone with cardiac arrest is early CPR with early defibrillation. I think it’s great that so many folks have taken the training and are willing to use it. Even better is the fact that defibrillator packs are being made available in many public venues, like airports, concert halls, and train stations. The sooner a defibrillator can be applied, the more chance for a good save. But CPR done early and until a defibrillator is available is also key to good outcomes.

And the new automatic electronic defibrillators are nice devices, easily used by the layperson, even if they’ve never used one before. They come with nice big print instructions, helpful illustrations, and in under two minutes, a rank amateur can get the pads on and activate the device, which will only shock the person if it detects a heart rhythm disturbance that needs shocking.

And remember, just because the person dies doesn’t mean that CPR was done wrong. Most people die of cardiac arrests despite intervention, and any CPR is better than none.

And yes, I’ve used my CPR skills a lot more than once. But in my line of work, that’s expected.

The one that I saw used TALKED! (I am such a techno geek that I thought to myself that one of them would be cool to have)

I was a Boy SCout for years, so I had quite a bit of First Aid and CPR training. My mother is also a nurse, and a certified CPR instructor. So I got penty of training from her as well. I have been lucky (?) enough to have only had to use my major trauma skills once.
I had to perform CPR when a neghibor of mine was shot by people that broke into his home and held his family hostage for hours. He didn’t survive. But dammit, I tried. It’s bothered me since.

Hearts that have stopped due to traumatic arrest have a worse record than others. You shouldn’t let it bother you, you should be proud that you gave the guy a slightly better chance to survive. That’s my take on it anyway.

Raises hand Yes, done it many times, but that’s not surprising given that I’ve been a paramedic and worked in a hospital ER.

Once, back in 1981. A man was being driven to the hospital by his family. They realized that his heart had stopped beating, pulled over on my street, and started pounding on doors asking for help.

Our next door neighbor called an ambulance while I started CPR. I’m pretty sure he was already dead at that point. He was very clammy and totally limp. I’m also pretty sure I broke his ribs.

I must have kept it up for maybe five or ten minutes before the ambulance arrived.

His family called our neighbor the next day to tell him that he hadn’t made it, and to say thank you. I never did find out what his name was.

I have not yet had to do CPR but as a med student I expect the time will come eventually.
My condolences on your loss. It sounds like you did everything you possibly could, which is amazing considering how frightening that situation must have been. :frowning:
My father also suffered a heart attack while I was at home. I’m not sure if I would have been able to stay calm enough to do effective CPR back then (I hadn’t kept my CPR training up to date…I guess I figured “it can’t happen to us”). It was smart of you to get the training ahead of time. Hopefully a few people reading this thread will decide to also get CPR training or brush up on it because of this thread.

I used CPR once at work. It was not successful. It was a person who was already terminally ill and was being sent to a hospital. He died a little quicker than expected and I ended up performing CPR on him until an ambulance arrived to take him to a hospital where he was officially pronounced dead.

5 times (doing chest compressions, we’ve always had an ambu bag handy) so far. All on codes, never in the field (although I’ve done some ambulance ride alongs and my friend who did one the night before one of mine ended up doing CPR in the field). 1st code was a heart/lung transplant recipient. 2nd one was a man who had a heart attack in a hospital bed at the VA and was found by the nurses unresponsive. 3rd one was a old man who had many medical problems and went into PEA (pulseless electrical activity, formerly known as EMD or electromechanical dissociation). 4th one was an old lady in respiratory distress who we were transporting to the MICU and when she got there we had to call the code as she stopped breathing and went into PEA as well. She lived another few days before the family agreed on code status and she quietly passing away. 5th one was a lady who went into v-fib while in the park playing with her grandchildren and her daughter. She had a pacemaker and an AICD for severe congestive heart failure and that rescued her until the paramedics got her. The leads must have come loose because she coded again in the ER and they did chest compressions on the way to the MICU. And again a few hours later. And again the next morning, and finally again the next afternoon (that’s when I did them). She didn’t make it through her fourth hospital code, but it was kind of incredible that she got that far.

The 4th and the 5th codes were the only codes I’ve seen to date that actually lived through the code, but neither of them made it a week.

As others have said, for a cardiac event in the field, CPR << defibrillator are the only chance someone has. It is very important, even though it is not common for someone to actually make it through…