Monday, March 23, 2009
Earlier this month the Arkansas Legislators passed a bill to put AED devices in all public schools in our state. The bill was sponsored by Senator Tracy Steele. It is estimated that about $1 million dollars will be needed to pay for the devices. The money is expected to come from the recently passed increased tobacco tax (an extra 56 cents per pack).
The Antony Hobbs III Act was named in honor of 17 yr Parkview High School basketball player who died after collapsing at a game. He died of complications from an undiagnosed heart defect.
I renewed my ACLS this past Thursday evening. Some of my nurse friends ask me to go with them as a way of getting together. They needed to recertify and assumed I might. We meet for dinner before the class and enjoyed the time together.
During the evening, the EMT who reviewed the AED devices with us mentioned having responded to the collapse of Antony Hobbs. He wanted to stress the importance of knowing basic CPR and BLS as most arrthymias are not shockable. He ask if we wanted to guess how many people at the basketball game attempted to help.
Can you guess?
When the crowd was asked if there were any medical folks there, one nurse stood up and responded. None of the teachers, coaches, parents responded “I know CPR. Can I help?”
I found that sad. CPR is much more important in most life situations than ACLS. I would like to encourage all to learn CPR. Even if the AED finds a shockable rhythm, the recommendation is a minimum of 2 minutes of good quality CPR immediately after the shock even if a normal rhythm is seen.
So having the AEDs in airports, in schools, at your work place does not replace the need for CPR. We all need to know how to do good quality CPR. It is the CPR that is most likely to save some one.
It is easy to find classes. Look to your local Red Cross chapter. They have classes on a regular basis to teach basic CPR and AED use. Or contact a group like America First Response.
Get your entire family to take the class. Learn CPR --you might end up being a hero.