Well, as the title says, it was a group of strangers that saved this kid’s life. Lifeguards refused to give the kid CPR because they didn’t have the protective mouthguard to prevent transmission of disease.
If the lifeguards are expected to perform CPR, why don’t they have that mouthguard with them? (Heck, when I get an operation I don’t want the medical crew to ask “Anybody bring the anesthesia?” “Hey, do we have a scalpel here?”)
Since the victim was three years old, could you seriously expect getting anything fatal from that kid (AIDS, hepatitis, etc) ?
Even then, chances are still rather low that you can get such diseases performong CPR. If you are in a profession that deals with saving lives, don’t you think you have to take the occasional risk? Perfect strangers were willing to do just that - and it wasn’t even their job or responsibility.
So, a pitting for those lifeguards and a carload of kudos for those bystanders willing to do what the “pros” refused to do.
One of my co-workers let a person die right in front of her for the same reason. We worked in a gas station/convenience store and a man apparently had a heart attack in the parking lot. She was actually volunteer EMS.
I think you’re confusing cause and effect here. The guy was dead, and if the heart attack was that bad, he’d probably have died whether she acted or not. I work with the fire chief here and the number of major heart attacks that end up with people surviving is very, very small. This is a vacation area with a lot of monied people coming to live for their retirements, and our hospital is very good compared to the size of the population. It’s not like they’re getting BFE medical care, it’s just the nature of the affliction.
It’s unfortunate, but the whole reason for universal precautions–like the mouth guard thing, or the extreme caution that people at the Blood Bank and at the Urgent Treatment Center used around my mother’s blood lately-- is because one CAN’T easily identify by eye someone who is likely to have a serious blood borne illness. I’m happy that bystanders were able to revive the 3 year old in the thread title, and I’m sorry that Lissa’s co-worker dealt so callously with the situation, but universal precautions aren’t effective if they don’t become second nature.
Incidently, I bet the lifeguards didn’t have the mouth protection with them because the actual incidence of needing CPR is so low. A lot of places lifeguards are teenagers who have been trained in CPR, but don’t really have enough practice to be comfortable with it, and certainly were not expecting to need it on any particular day.
That doesn’t make their behavior right, and I don’t blame you for Pitting them, but I’d need more information before I condemn them too much.
Low but not negligible. When your job consists primarily of seeing to the safety of people whose biggest risk is drowning, administering CPR becomes a distinct possibility. Protection should be available at all times.
The shame here, however, goes to the MA Dept of D&C. Shame on them for not providing the proper resources.
If anything deserves pitting, it’s the fact that these lifeguards didn’t have the proper equipment.
wolf_meister, even a 3-year-old might have some transmittable disease. You can’t know if he was born HIV positive, or if he’s been receiving blood transfusions and is now a hepatitis carrier. Universal precautions are universal for a reason.
I’m not excusing the lifeguards completely, because it is their job to act properly in this situation, and they should have been prepared with the mouth guards and gloves and anything else they might reasonably need.
Put in that situation, as a bystander, I’d probably have jumped in to help too. But I have no contempt for those who decided against it. There is a risk involved, even if it’s a small one. If a person does not want to put him/herself in danger to save another, I can’t blame them.
Hm. On the one hand, I recall from my days teaching Lifesaving that once you’re a trained responder you’re obliged under Good Samaritan laws to provide aid. On the other hand, those same laws usually state that the aid responder is to stop giving aid if the responder would be at any risk. So the lifeguards’ position is kind of a muddy one.
However, the risk from aiding a three-year old is surely minute. And – more importantly – if the lifeguards had been doing their jobs in the first place, they’d have kept an eye on the three-year old, fished the kid out before drowning, and it would not have had to wait for a bystander to do their job for them.
Actually, the Dept of C&R deserves more blame. The Dept of D&C probably has its hands full with Democrats and Conservatives.
In my experience, it’s probably not wise to put one’s safety in the hands of lifeguards. In most cases they seem to be teenagers more concerned with flirting than with saving lives. OK, I’m sure there are some very consciencious ones out there. But two days ago, I was in a public pool, and the only lifeguard on duty was dozing off. Made me feel really safe!
Excusde the fuck out of me, but I don’t care if a fricking three year old child has the bubonic fucking plague, and evidenc eof it tattooed all over his body…I’m not letting a damn three year old kid die because I’m afraid of a disease.
Please note, I didn’t say I agreed with the idea of not helping the child, only pointing out that the people’s fears were not entirely without merit. I’d have given mouth to mouth had I been there myself.
What bothers me the most about this is where the hell were this kids parents? Who lets their 3 yo old swim in a pond without being right there with him? The parents aren’t even mentioned in the article. Lifeguard or not, you don’t leave your tiny child in any body of water without being right next to him. All of this could have been avoided if the parents had bothered to act like parents.
If I was confronted with a situation where a three year old needed mouth to mouth and I knew for sure he/she had a transmittable disease I would not do it unless I had proper protection. Yes, trying to save a child’s life is noble but putting yourself in danger is stupid.
Amp, who used to be the father of a three year old, then he caught pre-teenitis.
Then you’d be a selfish, chickenshit, punk, unworthy of respect. If you could live comfortably with that, you’d be even more of a punk. No, you’re not REQUIRED to risk getting a disease (even though the chances would be low), but wouldn’t make your choice very admirable or ethical.