His comment, though well-intended, didn’t go over well. The Washington Post quickly reminded Mr. Santorum that “CPR doesn’t work when all the blood is on the ground.”
Mass shootings aside for a moment, it turns out that lack of CPR knowledge is not the biggest problem in getting medical aid to people.
Emily Holstine from Alliance Mobile Health informed us that one of the biggest challenges is getting people to take action when someone needs help.
The “bystander effect” is a psychological phenomenon that makes individuals less likely to offer aid when they are part of a crowd.
Alliance wanted us to know the new mantra when it comes to helping people: “If you see something, do something.” Tweet This
Emily also wanted us to know the sequence of steps when offering help:
- Feel a degree of responsibility
- Choose a form of assistance
All of us can be more observant
Pay attention to what’s going on around you.
Be alert for emergency situations.
Be mentally prepared to get involved if needed.
(1) Notice where the exits are when entering a room, for example. Try to identify someone who looks “in charge” wherever you are. Be on the lookout for fire extinguishers and Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) devices that can come in handy during emergencies.
Of course, there’s no need to be reckless when offering assistance, so take care to (2) interpret your observations. Ask yourself:
- What’s going on here?
- Is someone hurt?
- How can I help?
No one is in charge during the initial moments of an emergency, but you can be. When someone is hurt, it’s important to (3) feel a degree of responsibility.
See something? Do something–CPR can’t wait
When something bad happens, (4) choose a form of assistance. You’ll feel terrible after-the-fact if you choose not to act.
Assistance can be indirect such as calling 911 or direct, such as providing CPR or another type of assistance to the victim.
Then, (5) implement!
Holstine offered many helpful tips for …
If you call 911, don’t be impatient when it comes to answering questions. The ambulance is already on the way!
Use the “No, No, Go” technique to determine whether to do CPR. Does the fallen person respond? Is the person breathing? If the answers are “No” and “No,” then Go ahead with chest compression or automatic electronic defibrillation. AED devices are available in most public places.
Use gloves for protection whenever you are able. It’s a dangerous world out there.
When doing compression CPR on someone, don’t worry about pressing too hard. Doing this “right” almost always results in rib fracture. “Life over limb” is the slogan to remember. Ribs heal, but only if the person survives.
Don’t worry about getting in trouble for trying to help someone in distress. If you have good intentions and take reasonable and prudent measure to help, you are protected by the Good Samaritan law, according to Emily at Alliance.
Finally, if you think it’s taking a long time for help to arrive, you’re probably experiencing a phenomena called “time dilation.” That’s why five minutes might seem like a lot longer.
So much of first aid and CPR is about mindset. Be ready for the unexpected. Remember that things that aren’t supposed to happen happen every day.
If you see something, do something!