Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Are you prepared? (Article)

We had a great, challenging strength ride, and were starting our cool down. Suddenly there was a loud THUMP behind me - I turned around to see my good friend, Jim, slumped on the floor between bikes. Everyone sprang into action - lights turned on, bikes moved out of the way, and one regular rider who is a RN took charge of the scene while the instructor ran out of the room to get the AED and call 911. Jim was out cold, but came to around 30 seconds later, and was talking normally, asking "what happened". The paramedics arrived within two minutes, and took Jim to the hospital for observation.

In the aftermath, and in visiting Jim in the hospital, we learned the details of what had happened. Jim had started feeling weak at the end of class, and said he turned to David next to him to ask him a question. David said that Jim said nothing to him, he just unclipped his shoes and fell straight down. Jim's head luckily fell onto David's foot, which was still clipped in, breaking Jim's fall preventing his head from additional trauma.

Jim had been complaining for months that his heart rate monitor wasn't working properly, replacing the battery, and even the whole unit.  Turns out it wasn't the units that were malfunctioning - it was Jim's heart that wasn't working! His heart rate was 30bpm in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, and after some testing, they fitted him with a temporary pacemaker yesterday, with surgery this morning to fit him with a permanent one. His heart STOPPED yesterday as they attached the temp pacemaker - the doctor said it was down to its last few ticks, and it was going to stop yesterday for sure.

This was the story shared in one of the many indoor cycling forums that I participate in, and fortunately it had a great out come.  According to the American Heart Association nearly 383,000 cardiac arrests occur annually outside of the hospital environment, 88% of which are at home with only an 8% survival rate. -1

Cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack.  Cardiac arrest is when the electrical impulses to the heart go wonky, while a heart attack occurs when the supply of blood to the heart is blocked.  A heart attack may result in cardiac arrest.

All sounds pretty bleak doesn't it?  So here's the good news, a Journal of the American College of Cardiology study-2 released findings that your chance of survival are significantly higher at traditional fitness facilities by 56%.  This number can be attributed to two factors, access to an AED and training of facility personnel; that's where you come in.
"Be Prepared.  Boy Scouts need to know how to tie knots, but Fitness Instructors need to know how to perform CPR."

Maintain your CPR & First Aid Certifications
In 2010 the AHA changed their guidelines for how to properly perform CPR, but even during my 2012 renewal the instructor was still coaching/demonstrating the older technique.  The change is 2010 is significant going from the old ABC (Airway-Breathing-Chest) sequence to CAB (Chest-Airway-Breathing) sequence. And now Breathing means something entirely new.  Previously you would complete a series of 30 chest compressions followed by artificially breathing for the victim, while current standard eliminate entirely the breathing portion, relying on the new standard 100 chest compressions to also force air in and out of the lungs.   This is called Hands-Only CPR and if this is new to you, it's time to renew your certification.
Note: Artificial breathing is still included for infants. -3

Make sure your facility has a properly serviced AED and that you know where it's located.

Know how to identify the symptoms of a Cardiac Arrest.

I hope that you never are faced with a situation where you never have to perform CPR, but I pray that if you are, you are prepared.

In good health, Spinning Freak™               

1 - American Heart Association, Feb 28, 2014
2 - Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Dec 2013
3 - CPR Certifications Online, Jan 12, 2014

No comments:

Post a Comment