Recently we were at a Christmas function when a family member collapsed at the dinner table. One moment he was talking with his daughter, and the next minute he slumped forward.
I sensed something was wrong and was just a few steps away when something kept me there. His face was ashen and his fingernails were turning blue as life slipped out of him.
Luckily my wife (a nurse) was nearby and we were able to get him onto the floor. We kept him comfortable, elevated his legs (to increase blood flow to his heart) and stabilized him. Others became aware of the commotion, and within seconds we were joined by another nurse and a firefighter.
All the therapists at our clinic are trained in First Aid and CPR, but actually putting it into practice during a life and death situation makes you realize we can make a difference.
Doing a quick assessment (A is for airway, B is for breathing, C is circulation), he needs CPR –fast! There was no pulse, 911 was called (seconds became minutes), and compressions were started.
It was surreal.
We were able to revive him, and made him as comfortable as possible. He was transported to the hospital and is home recovering to enjoy Christmas with his family for one more year.
During this holiday season, amongst your many gifts to family/friends, remember the gift of life.
- Give blood.
- Learn CPR.
- While you’re at it, register at Be A Donor
- Happy Holidays
See your doctor if the pain persists or doesn’t go away within a day or two.
See your therapist if treatment is recommended.