Fear of Actual First Aid? Here is why
Updated: Oct 24
You are having your leisurely stroll down Orchard road with your friends and suddenly a passerby suddenly collapsed to the ground. Your mind went blank, not sure what to do and just kept staring at the unconscious person as everyone else stare in unison just like you. Suddenly, your friend nudge you "You know First Aid right?" You noticed your hand started to tremble a bit. Scared? You might be doing it wrong. That person is not a manikin. What if i compress his chest too hard? Can i be sued? Maybe i should just wait long enough till someone step up? Sound familiar? With almost 20 years in training, thousands of completed classes and over 300,000 trained and certified, Singapore First Aid Training Centre is a name that you can always depend on and trust. Despite the tremendous effort, unfortunately many people still hesitate to perform CPR because they worry that they may do more harm than good. Here are some of the most common myths and anxieties that prevent people from providing lifesaving treatment when the chips are down.
I Might Hurt the Person
They may even break a rib.
The thing is, if you’re doing CPR right, it’s likely to break ribs. People make errors. Every time.
I frequently tell myself, "My hands aren't in the appropriate place... I've absolutely lost track... am I pushing myself too hard? ... I'm not allowing the chest to expand properly... I just felt another rib pop..." If I do not give CPR, they will simply not wake up, thus none of this will affect the casualty. Putting these fears aside and beginning CPR could affect the result.
In a first-aid emergency, the risk to rescuers is almost non-existent. It all comes down to intent.
Compressions should be at a depth of about two inches on a full-grown adult in order to get the blood moving in the body.
That takes about 60 pounds of force.
According to a 2015 study, as many as 86% of men and 91% of women experienced a bone injury in the chest after receiving CPR—including sternum fractures, rib fractures, and sternocostal (situated between the sternum and the ribs) separations.
However, these injuries are survivable, while cardiac arrest is not. Unless the victim gets immediate lifesaving care.
Most people would agree that a few broken ribs are preferable to death.
What about you?
CPR is not in progress when emergency personnel arrive on more than half of the occasions where it is required.
Every minute that CPR is postponed reduces the chances of survival by 10%.
As a result, when paramedics (and firefighters) arrive, their efforts are frequently futile. Any hope the patient had was rapidly dwindling as their brain was deprived of essential blood and oxygen flow.
Even if a person survived without 'early CPR,' they would very probably have lasting brain injuries and have no 'quality of life.'
What if i get sued?
What if, after performing CPR to save someone's life, that person sues you for your actions?
It is plausible, but quite unlikely.
Good Samaritan laws cover onlookers performing CPR. The legislation encourages people to provide CPR since it is in the best interests.
These regulations should protect you from a lawsuit as long as you respond in a reasonable manner, provide care appropriate to your level of expertise, and are not rewarded for your activities. Although in Singapore, there isn't a definitive Samaritan Law in placed. This is what our Minister of Law, K Shanmugam has to say about this issue.
https://www.mlaw.gov.sg/news/parliamentary-speeches/written-answer-by-minister-for-law-k-shanmugam-to-parliamentary-question-on-the-introduction-of-a/ What if i catch a disease?
When it comes to mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, it's not uncommon to have an intuitive icky-factor reaction. Many people are afraid of contracting an infectious disease, even if they know CPR.
Mouth-to-mouth contact with an infected person can lead to the transmission of bacteria and viruses. The chances of this happening during rescue breathing are slim, but it is possible.
However, giving rescue breaths is not required for effective CPR. The American Heart Association recently issued new recommendations for hands-only CPR that require lay rescuers to merely "press forcefully and fast in the center of the chest" to the tune of the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive." You can omit the mouth-to-mouth part entirely.
In bystander rescue scenarios, hands-only CPR has been demonstrated to be just as effective as standard CPR.
It's even more effective in certain trials, presumably because individuals are more eager to do this sort of CPR in the first place.
What if i did it wrong?
Most of our participants when asked, they don’t have the confidence to perform CPR in an emergency situation—and would be reluctant to provide it for this reason alone.
This is also where our professional and dedicated first aid trainers comes in. We do our best in ensuring that each one of our participants comes out empowered and ready.
Again, if you are still concern to do the full rep, that’s where hands-only CPR comes in. It’s far less complicated than the traditional version—there’s no need to try to remember the ratio of compressions to rescue breaths, or slow down your compressions to provide breaths.
and yes, we train that as well.
Hands-only CPR is very easy to learn and administer—even for people with no medical training. There’s really only one step—push hard and fast in the center of the chest.
Today, anyone can learn and administer CPR—and the learning process only takes minutes with the guidance of our trainers.
Fear of inappropriate touching
According to a UPenn study, women are less likely than men to undergo CPR because some responders are scared to touch a female victim's chest.
This has real-world ramifications. The study discovered that men were 23 percent more likely than women to survive cardiac arrest because rescuers were more hesitant to perform CPR on women. The study discovered that only 39 percent of women in cardiac arrest outside of a hospital received bystander CPR, compared to 45 percent of men.
Every year, about 350,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital environment.
Approximately 90% of them do not survive. Those figures could be improved with CPR training—as well as the knowledge to overcome these myths.
What is the worst that could happen?
In a first-aid emergency, intent is rather obvious. Your purpose is commendable because you are attempting to assist the individual. Stick to what you're capable of doing, and don't abandon your casualty if you've decided to assist.
Assume you were engaged in an automobile accident; you didn't cause it, but you were at blame. The accident resulted in injuries, and you were not paying appropriate attention to the road at the time of the accident. You could be found negligent, and there is a chance that your actions will result in legal consequences.
Assume you were a rescuer at the same occurrence, rather than the driver of the vehicle at fault.
It was not your fault.
You're only there to assist.
You remove someone out of the vehicle because you are unsure if they are breathing and believe CPR may be required.
They are breathing on their own, and when they are removed from the vehicle, they regain awareness.
The casualty suffered spinal injuries and will never walk again. Tragic.
But they are still alive.
You are concerned about your actions and whether removing them from the vehicle caused any additional harm... you wonder, "What is going to happen to me now?"
You were not to blame for the accident or the injuries.
Anyone you discuss it with will almost likely compliment you.
Your actions could have saved a life just by opening the casualty's airway, allowing them to breathe on their own and supporting them in regaining awareness.
Moving them is unlikely to aggravate the damage and should not be a cause for concern.
No one will question whether or not they did the right thing, and if they did, the answer is "YES." You needed to figure out if they needed CPR.
Life trumps limb.
Congratulations; your judgment and actions were courageous and could have saved the casualty's life.
The bottom line is to be self-assured enough to assist someone in need. Support yourself and do what you can. Your excellent intentions may save a life, and they will not be called into question.
"If you're willing to drive a car, you shouldn't be terrified of the legal hazards of providing first aid to a stranger." So Learn, Empower and Act today
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