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I won't ever need this!

Posted Oct 30 2008 3:22pm
You remeber trying to get your driver's licence? That little first aid test you had to pass to get it? Nothing serious? Some CPR, but you never really learnt it well because even the instructor didn't find it important enough to really seriously test you on it?

Fast forward 20 years. You are now about 40. Your spouse is of the same age. Your parents are at least 60. You know what that means? Heart attack.

I'm not saying you'll have one. I'm not saying a member of your family will have one. Or two. But people do. A lot of them, all around you.

You know the statistics for out-of-hospital heart attacks? Every minute of no help reduces survival chances by 10%. Only about one in ten people who are around a person that collapses suddenly will attempt any kind of help, including simply calling an ambulance. Once activated, the average arrival time for medical help where I live is 8 minutes and that's a top-notch achievement. Do the math yourself.

So we wondered why. Answers? People are afraid they might do more harm than good. They don't remember how to do CPR. They're scared of squeezing someone's thorax.

Our answer? A free CPR class, thought by ER doctors, very much practically oriented. It is concentrated on just the basic most important stuff, so it only takes four hours. Four hours of your precious time so you can learn how to help your mother-in-law who has already survived one heart attack, your father-in-law who has angina pectoris, your spouse who obviously has an unfavourable family history concerning heart and vascular disease. And let's not forget that random stranger who collapses in front of you during your morning run.

Answers by the unlearned public, who often complains about the expensive classes? Oh, it's free? Yeah, I'd love to, but I don't have time/don't wish to learn it/would have to take two buses across town to get to the class/don't won't to get involved/don't dare to try it, I could do something wrong/don't need it anyway, because I've never seen a heart attack in person/wouldn't even attempt to resuscitate my own wife, because there are people paid to do that. So thanks, but no, thanks.

And there's always my personal favourite course of conversation:
"Sir, would you be interested in a short free course that teaches you what you need to know about CPR?"
"I already know CPR, I tried it 30 years ago when I was getting my driver's license."
"Excellent. So, would you just care to try some cardiac massage on this mannequin here? You know, a little practice and revision never hurts with this sort of thing."
"Cardiac massage? Oh well, that's a bit to complicated for laymen, don't you think. Of course I don't know how to do it." Proceeding to stomp off angrily, what with all these pesky med-students around, trying to get him to do what they should be doing. Learn and help people. Pffff...

So yeah... I'm a bit disappointed in people in general.
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