Teach Your Children CPR
Submitted by Maureen Kroning, RN EdD
Today, it is not uncommon that women choose to have children later in life compared to that of their parents’ generation. In fact, USA published an article titled, “More women wait to start families” and reported that not only are US women waiting to start families but women around the world are as well (Jayson, 2009). Therefore, many parents find themselves older than their parents were when their children become adolescents. Your child knowing CPR can save your life.
According to the American Heart Association (2014) nearly 88% of all cardiac arrests occur outside the hospital setting and four out of five of them happen at home. I recently, encountered a great testimony at the hospital about just how vital teaching your children Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) can be.
A 51 year old male presented to the hospital via ambulance status post MI. Approximately just half an hour ago, the patient was working in his yard lifting 80lb bags of concrete when he began to feel as though he was suffering with heat exhaustion. He told his 19 year old son that he was not feeling well. His son told his dad to sit down and went to get him a glass of water. After a few minutes sitting on the couch with his dad, the 19 year old asked his 11 year old brother to sit next to their father while he went into the bathroom to take a shower. The 11 year old boy who happily agreed to sit next to his father had stayed home from school that day recovering from a respiratory illness. After a few minutes later the 11 year old witnessed his dad taking a few deep breaths and collapsing to the floor. He immediately grabbed the house phone and called 911 while running to the bathroom to get his older brother. The 19 year old older brother jumped out of the showered and with towel wrapped around his waist knelt besides his father and felt for a pulse. Unable to palpate a pulse he immediately began to do CPR a skill he had just learned only two weeks ago for his summer life guarding job. He instructed his brother to phone his Mom, a RN with critical care experience, who listened on the phone while his sons were doing all that they could to save their fathers life. After listening to her son’s desperate account of what was happening at home she hung up and called a neighbor also an RN and asked her to go to the home and assist her sons until EMS arrived. Approximately 4-5mins later EMS arrived at the home to find an 11 year old boy in his pajamas waiting on the lawn to alert them to the right home and a 19 year old boy kneeling over his dad wrapped in a towel performing CPR a skill he had just learned a few weeks ago.
Teaching every adolescents CPR can prove to be an invaluable skill today. High schools need include mandatory CPR and first aid classes for all of their students. CPR is a skill that most anyone can learn to do and a skill that we as parents cannot afford to not teach our children.
American Heart Association (2014)
Jayson, S (2009) More women wait to start families. USA Today