What would you do??

  1. We had a long and interesting discussion at work amongst the nurses. What is your input??

    Would you stop and administer CPR to someone found unresponsive, in the middle of the road, with no mask or protective gear?

    If yes, do you take the pt out of the car, place him on the ground and perform CPR. What if you cant take him out of the car, because he's too heavy, stuck, etc.

    In the meantime, do you just wait for EMS or is there any other intervention you can initiate while waiting.

    What if you don't have a cell-phone or any other way of contacting EMS. Do you leave the scene to get help (this is assuming you cannot initiate CPR).

    Finally, "self preservation" vs good samaritan. Would you risk "self preservation" (?contracting some illness via saliva or bloody mucus membranes w/no protective barrer) to save someone else??
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    About IngyRN

    Joined: Jan '07; Posts: 104; Likes: 30
    Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience in Med/Surg, Homecare, UR, Case Mgt


  3. by   Scrubby
    I guess i'm not a good samaritan because i wouldn't administer CPR to a complete stranger without appropriate equipment. I am not putting myself at risk of contracting a bloodborne disease because i want to be a hero.
  4. by   Psqrd
    If no one is around and you are the only person around, you are to go get help first then CPR...If you did not notify EMS, you could be there indefinately...Remember the rule, once you start CPR you can only stop if properly relieved, the patient is pronounced dead by a person authorized to do so or if you can no longer continue d/t exhaustion.

    If the person is in the car and you can get them out of the car I would lay them down in the car the best I could and do CPR in the car, even badly performed CPR is better than no CPR.

    As far as communicable diseases, how would you feel if someone let stood by and did nothing while your loved one died because they were afraid of catching something...they would catch something alright, a law suit...I have heard of people doing CPR and the patient vomits into the mouth of the person doing mouth to mouth...they spit it out, cleared the patients airway and continued...thats what I call a HERO!

  5. by   fronkey bean
    honestly, I think the nurse in me would just go into autopilot and I would do what I know to do and what I love to do and worry about the consequences later. How many times have we gotten covered in body secretions at the bedside? We don't leave the pt to clean up until they are stable, it's just what we do. Intellectually I say I wouldn't touch someone w/o proper safety equipment but my instincts just take over when I'm in that kind of situation.
  6. by   AprilRNhere
    Honestly....with no protective gear...on a complete stranger...I'd call for help...and start chest compressions without breaths. At least it's something.
  7. by   APBT mom
    Quote from Aprilhere
    Honestly....with no protective gear...on a complete stranger...I'd call for help...and start chest compressions without breaths. At least it's something.
    That's what I would do too. When we had our CPR class the nstructor actually told us to do this if we didn't have the mouth shield. If I didn't have a cell phone I'd either try an flag someone down or go to a phone then go back to help or at least wave the EMT's down.
  8. by   Liberty Bellpn
    I am pretty sure I'd do whatever I could ...with whatever I had.
    Respond first...(regret later?)
  9. by   caliotter3
    I pretty much agree with Scrubby. Without the proper self protection equipment I would not perform CPR. That is why I carry a pocket mask with me in my car. I hope I never have occasion to use it.
  10. by   LiverpoolJane
    I agree with Aprilhere - I would continue chest compresions without mouth to mouth. A nurse I worked with some years ago was called to assist her when her next door neighbour found her husband hanged in the shed. They cut him down and the nurse started CPR - he vomited into her mouth!
  11. by   Virgo_RN
    I always have plastic bags in my car (I have dogs). It would be a simple matter to fashion a barrier from one.
  12. by   danissa
    This happened to me, I passed by a mound at the roadside, (in the dark), and got a terrible feeling, so I backed up. Unresponsive woman lying there, and all your First aid stuff just kicks in. I was lucky in having help from my kiddos to call emergency, but if you find yourself in the situation, the nurse in you just takes over! My son was sayin.."no, Mam, leave it, don't go back!" ..But I couldn't drive on and do nothing. Regrets, well afterwards, thinkin about it, no I don't really have any, just happy that that woman ended up safe and well. Other drivers went past, never stopped to offer help, there went my faith in my fellow beings! would I do it again? In a heartbeat,.... it was an instinctive reaction.
  13. by   Bocephus71RN-BSN
    I think the best point made by this thread is that as nurses we all should have a pocket mask available in our vehicles at all times. I used to carry one and misplaced awhile back, but now that I have read this thread I will be placing one in all my vehicles. They are cheap, easily accessible, and could save some childs mother or father someday. I know if i was in the situation were i was the victim I hope and pray maybe a first responder driving down the road had the forethought of having a pocket mask. Thank you for the thread.
  14. by   canoehead
    I'd stop and do CPR as best I could and try to flag down the next driver to call 911. With or without a barrier- just beg someone to provide some rinse and spit water when I was done.

    I've stopped and helped without gloves, but not had to do CPR. Stupidest thing I saw was a woman running around from person to person asking for gloves before she would touch someone. If we had 'em, wouldn't we be wearing them? Either jump in and help, or shut up and stop buzzing around like a mosquito!