Archive - Sep 5, 2011

Archive - Sep 5, 2011

We should all be ashamed that this sort of thing is still news, not the norm.

AMERICAN FALLS, Idaho — Quick-thinking coaches and a school's new defibrillator helped save the life of an American Falls High School athlete after the boy collapsed at practice.

Superintendent Ron Bolinger said 17-year-old Ross Palmer, a star on the football team, collapsed near the end of practice Tuesday night. The coaching staff couldn't find a pulse and started CPR.

Bolinger said another coach ran inside to get a defibrillator that the school had recently acquired. The second shock from the machine to the young athlete's heart started it beating again.



Nothing like evidence to set things straight.

The 2005 revisions to the BLS protocols stated that two minutes of CPR should precede defibrillation. A study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that there was no difference in outcomes between two large groups: (a) those that had 30-60 seconds of CPR before defibrillation and (b) those that had 180 seconds of CPR before defibrillation.

It will be interesting to see the letters to the editor published in subsequent issues.

The disappointing aspect of the study is that it showed a 5.9% survival rate, where survival means discharge from the hospital in a condition that permits the victim to perform the acts of daily living - i.e., with minor neurological deficits.

This does not mean that it doesn't matter how soon you defibrillate doesn't matter. Other studies have shown that defibrillating early helps. It does mean that during the 1-3 minute time-frame it doesn't make a lot of difference.

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