One of the most common questions we get asked in a First Aid Courses is what do you do if you are exhausted. The reality is that unless you are in a highly dense capital city, sometimes you might have to perform CPR for long periods of time and this can become extremely exhausting.
The ARC guidelines do state that if you are performing CPR and exhausted and there is no other qualified first aider to help you then it is okay to take an untrained bystander to help you with CPR.
The preference is that you continue doeing the ventillation as this requires a much higher level of skill and teach the bystander how to do the compressions.
You role in this is to instruct them as quickly as possible as to what to do. Get the bystander to follow these basic steps:
1. Get the bystander to kneel opposite from you
2. Show the bystand where to place their hands
3. Ensure there arms are straight and their fingers are off the patients chest wall
4. Show them how to depress the breastbone rhythmically and vertically
5. Ensure that the pressure is applied through the heel of the bottom hand
6. Depress the breastbone by 1/3 depth of the chest for each compression.
Whilst this instruction doesn’t take long, ensure that you explain to the bystander clearly what they need to do.
The key reason for using the bystander is to give you the opportunity to take a brake and to essentially get your breath and to regain some of your strength.
Don’t be to concerned about using a bystander as they are commonly use by Ambulance Paramedics regularly when there is a shortage of trained professionals. The key though is to ensure that you stay and supervise the bystander at all times.Chris LE Roy