Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My Soapbox

       I like my movies fluffy, happy things.  A little drama, sure, but for the most part I don't want any semblance of real life butting in.  Except for one teensy tinesy little thing. The one thing I can't handle in movies?  Improper cardio pulmonary resuscitation technique.  Drives me batty every time.  Like it or not, the masses are informed about the world by media.  The media owes it to the masses to show how CPR should be done.  Go ahead and get everything else wrong (like putting someone in an induced coma without any ventilator support) but CPR is a layman's tool and must be shown correctly.  For instance, beating on someone's chest and saying "don't die on me man! don't die!" is not an effective means of revival.  Yet it seems to work every time on television!  This "precordial thump" used to be taught in CPR classes, but has since been rescinded because of its ineffectiveness.  In fact, it has never worked.  So the American Heart Association has removed it as an option in CPR.
         Then there is the ratio of compressions to breaths.  The newest regulations actually state that if you see someone collapse, just do compressions 100 per minute without breaths, because there should be enough oxygen circulating in their system.  And brain perfusion is what it's all about.  So if you keep with compressions, the blood pressure stays elevated and thusly blood is able to make it to the brain.  Pausing for breaths causes a decline in the overall blood pressure, and for each stop to give a breath a subsequent drop in pressure happens.  However, this is a relatively new guideline, so I can understand tv hasn't caught up just yet.  But the 5 sloooow compressions to 1 breath ratio? ANCIENT HISTORY for several decades, yet I just watched a medical show perform such worthless CPR in a HOSPITAL of all places.  Who are their medical advisers?  Retired hospital janitors from the '60s?  Honestly.  I volunteer myself for hire, for mere pennies, just so this travesty will no longer be purported among the innocent masses.  If someone starts doing CPR on me, ask them first where they learned.  If it's from a movie, just let me die, it will be just as effective.

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