CPR and First Aid

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In high school, I enrolled in a semester of EMT training.  This was awesome and I nearly went off and became a paramedic because of it.  But it also taught me some very important things about EMTs in California in the 1990s: they were essentially glorified cab drivers.

Administer drugs?  Couldn’t do that.  Put in an IV?  Nope.  Emergency tracheotomy using a pocket knife and a pen?  Stop watching medical dramas, please.

Essentially, this was what I learned in my EMT course:

  1. If they’re bleeding, use stuff to stop or slow the bleeding, and get them to the hospital.
  2. If they’re cool, pale, and diaphoretic, get them to the hospital.
  3. Children go downhill very fast.  Get them to the hospital.
  4. If the patient is in cardiac arrest, check airway, breathing, and circulation.  Then you can administer CPR.  And get them to the hospital.
  5. Use a cervical collar if you so much as suspect a spinal injury.  Put them in one before you get them to the hospital.
  6. If someone is having a severe allergic response, try and get their consent before using their EpiPen on them.  Then get them to the hospital.
  7. Sucking chest wounds sound awesome, but please get them to the hospital.
  8. If they were on fire, definitely put them out before getting them to the hospital.
  9. Downed powerlines are a hell of a way to die.  Do not underestimate them.  Getting you to a hospital probably won’t help if you stumble into a live current.
  10. Everybody lies.

I’ll probably re-read my old EMT manual sometime between now and labor.  I’ve signed us up for a CPR course, and when Mike’s mom arrives we’ll get her certified as well.  Basically, my first aid breaks down to this: can it be treated with a bandaid and a kiss?  No?  Then call 911 and get them to a hospital.