I had dinner with a young couple last night. They have two small children. One is a daughter who is two years old and the other is a baby who is only eight weeks old.
The mom, Robin, was talking about some of the things they had experienced with the two-year-old.
Apparently within the first day or two that they brought her home from the hospital, they had an incident when the baby stopped breathing.
Keep in mind that this was the couple’s first child, so they were brand-new parents. For those of you who have been parents, you can remember how you felt the first time you brought your child home from the hospital. You basically felt super responsible and terrified that the care of this brand-new helpless human being was now totally in your hands.
Put yourself in this young couple’s shoes who had brought their brand-new baby home from the hospital and then had an episode where they could tell she was not breathing. The dad said that he flipped her over and began to resuscitate her. He said it’s a good thing they learned how to do infant CPR before they brought her home from the hospital.
I thought back to when I was a new mom. I don’t remember ever getting infant CPR classes.
With the incidence of SIDS deaths, maybe hospitals are taking greater precautions to train parents on CPR measures.
This couple noted that they just happened to be with their baby when they saw that she wasn’t breathing. It was a very fortunate thing that they were close by, and it was also fortunate that they knew how to do infant CPR.
This makes me think about CPR knowledge in general. I would say that the average American citizen doesn’t have a clue how to do CPR. Maybe they have taken CPR training courses in the past, but chances are they would not remember how to perform the measures, or they would be afraid that they were doing them wrong.
Most emergencies involving cardiac arrest or breathing failure happen at home, not in the hospital. Bystander CPR is not often administered. There are a number of reasons for this like those mentioned above . . . fear or the feeling of inadequacy or the fear of performing a measure that’s wrong.
It seems to me that CPR training should be virtually mandatory for every citizen.
Of course, how to get people to comply and take the training would be a challenge, but it seems like this sort of training as well as ACLS training could be incorporated into different activities or events.
For example, everyone needing to get a new driver’s license or replace a driver’s license could be required to take a CPR course or an ACLS course at the same time. It seems like you would have to link CPR training with some event that most people have to do.
Anyway listening to this young couple talk about reviving their baby made me realize again how important it is for every citizen to know how to administer CPR.