Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The consequences of failing to act

Last week, I learned about the premature passing of a high school friend. He died of a massive heart attack at age 53. And he may not have to died, if someone had taken action.

He was walking into his place of employment at the beginning of a work day with his cohorts. He passed out, but quickly came to, asking, "What happened?" And then he was gone. No pulse.

Those around him, surely in shock, called 911 and went to find someone who knew CPR. The people around him didn't know CPR.

They estimated it was four to six minutes before CPR was started. Four to six minutes of no blood or oxygen going to his brain.

In full disclosure, I've never been trained in CPR. But I have watched lots and lots of TV shows where it is being performed. If someone collapsed in front of me and had no pulse, I would have faked it and started compressions. At least until someone qualified came along.

We don't know if he would have survived if someone had tried CPR immediately. But I would guess, the odds would have been considerably better.

I wonder if his co-workers realize the consequences of their failure to act. I hope his employer is planning to have all their employees trained on CPR. For his sister and his brother and his mom, I really hope they do.