Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Vinnie Jones' hard and fast Hands-only CPR

I saw this TV advert from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) featuring Vinnie Jones a few days ago and thought it was simply great. I have been trained in first aid off and on since I was a kid.   I'm currently a designated workplace first aider.  During the actual training I come away feeling fairly confident about carrying out CPR for suspected heart attacks.  Yet as time goes on I get less and less sure, that in an emergency, I would remember the exact sequence of mouth to mouth resuscitation and chest compressions. If I feel this, you can understand why members of the public, who have never been trained, often panic and don't do nothing when they come across someone dying of a cardiac arrest. What the BHT and Vinnie "explain" is just get on and do "Hands-only CPR" in time to the music (ironically) of "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees. It can make a dramatic difference in survival rates if CPR is given promptly. Time is of the essence.

There is a serious side to this. I will declare that my father died of a heart attack in the street of a small town while he was on a long distance walk. The family know that a Police Officer did attend and tried CPR which eventually failed.  What we don't know exactly is how long it took for officer to arrive and whether if a passerby had tried "hand-only CPR" earlier there might have been a different outcome.


Thisara2350 said...

Dear John,

Just got back from my St John's Ambulance class, I'm a first aid volunteer who's been doing this for 3 years or so now. The first thing I was told was to ignore the Vinnie Jones advert. The reason: Hands Only CPR is no where near as effective, especially when you consider that CPR without a defibrillator is no where near life saving.

Whilst you are right about this campaign making people more likely to get on with it, Hand free CPR is no substitute for proper CPR with breathing. As long as you practice, and continue to supplement your skills, I would strongly advise you to continue with the normal CPR, with the first thing you do being 30 compressions, and 2 breaths.

However, you're right in saying that the general public should be exposed to this advert. I am sorry for your loss.


John Gray said...

Hi Thisara

Well done for taking this class and your tutor is quite right that trained volunteers such as yourself should not follow Vinnie. What "hands only CPR" is aimed at is people who have had not training at all.

You are also right about the importance of defibrillators which I must look into and post on.

Thank you for your kind comment about my loss.