"Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that."
And so began Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol in Prose," which I had some fun with this week. But being dead really isn't much fun, I don't think, and being near somebody dead even less so. Knowing if they are dead, thinking they are dead, hoping they are dead or praying that they are not matters not to the person doing the dying.
The doubt that crosses people's minds, in my opinion, based on more witnesses than I care to remember is what holds people back from starting the only thing that they could actually do for a newly dead person-starting CPR. A lot of CPR certified people witness a sudden cardiac arrest and are afraid to act. Whether their fears are born from their lack of confidence in their CPR skills or more likely their failure to recognize a person as dead is irrelevant, a dead person shall remain so unless SOMEBODY does SOMETHING!
Are they breathing? Simple enough question. Not so simple when somebody you know, somebody you love or somebody unknown to you drops in front of you. Do they have a pulse? Again, easy enough, until you are fumbling around a person who you think might be dead, and you really don't want them to be, and your own pulse is pounding out of all of your pressure points, and you confuse your own pounding heart with that of the person whose heart has stopped.
I do CPR for a living, and every time I do so, determining that the person in need is indeed in need is never a simple task. Asking a person who may be called upon once in their lives to make the call is asking a lot. If I could give any advice to the layperson with a CPR card who questions their understanding of CPR, and isn't really comfortable with their ability to act, or is worried that they might do the wrong sequence on the wrong age group, or push too hard, or not hard enough, it would be to put away their fear, and make sure they waste no time wondering if an unresponsive person is alive or dead.
Once that determination is made, the rest falls into place. Usually. But imperfect CPR is better than no CPR, and you will have the rest of your life to wonder if you should have acted.
It's time for a change of direction here at Rescuing Providence. It's been a great six years, I told a lot of stories, made a lot of friends and learned a lot about things. If I could do it over, I wouldn't change a thing. I'll be around, but the focus is changing from the daily true stories and my take on the events that transpire in Providence to a little more creative side of things. I've got a couple of Vampire Paramedics in Vermont to keep an eye on, and Mr. Holmes and Dr. Watson are always looking for a new adventure, plus I never really know what is going to enter my mind on any given day.
I appreciate everybody who has visited here over the years, and would also appreciated it if you visited
http://www.emergencystuff.com/9781887321143.html and bought a copy of my new book, Responding!
Merry Christmas everybody, and I'll see you next year!