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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

There is a difference

The training a Bystander needs is far different from what an EMT or Paramedic needs.

The demands on a bystander are far different that the demands on an EMT or Paramedic and in one way, more difficult. When the ambulance arrives, there are two healthcare providers who can perform CPR - they can trade off every two minutes. And in many EMS agencies, additional manpower is dispatched for sudden cardiac arrests.  This means that the EMS folks, when they arrive, can switch off every two minutes.

The lone rescuer in the 70% of the arrests that occur at home has to perform guideline-compliant chest compressions for an average of ten minutes or more. A 2012 test involving subjects whose age distribution matches that of the arrest victims showed that even when the manikin was far less stiff than an average adult chest, only the youngest 20% of the subjects were able to last ten minutes. (See

The Bystander also needs to understand (a) how to recognize when someone has had a cardiac arrest, (b) how to get the victim our of bed or onto the floor from a recliner, and (c) how to perform pedal chest compressions.

To the best of my knowledge, that currently is not taught in CPR classes. other than in those taught by


I sincerely hope you never need to use these skills.