MAMA, I've been involved in MANY CPR episodes, most of the time when I was also a paramedic on the ambulance. I recall that on a couple of occasions when good BLS // CPR was done from the start of the cardiac arrest we were able to save the victim who recovered their life. One time, the most memorable time, before the units had GPS in them to show on the screen which was the closest unit to send to an emergency call, we just happened to be right on top of an ongoing CPR in progress. I successfully shocked the patient out of V-FIB while my partner was intubating the older lady. Then I started the IV and gave the Lidocaine, as that's what we used back then. We got a pulse back very soon as she collapsed literally onto the respiratory therapist on that scene at a McDonalds. There was also an RN and a nursing student all three together there having lunch. I did have to put her on some dopamine to bring up her blood pressure but we transported emergency to the major hospital ER from where we all worked. She went to the ICU for a couple of days, then out onto the floor after angioplasty. Later she was discharged home from the hospital. She was a lady in her 60's who was still working, but the doctors told her to retire, and she did. I don't know how much longer she lived but I understand from others who knew her in that small community that, the last we knew, she had been around quite a while. Just good luck that we happened to be right there and heard the call on the radio in our unit, then we called dispatch as we hauled over there taking less than two minutes to get to the scene.
I had another CPR where the patient survived, but it's another long story that I don't want to put here. Mama is right. It seldom happens with care providers sufficiently close that it helps, and especially with the very old or very sick it usually is not successful, but it does work at times.
MAMA, the classes are good, but sadly they don't cover when NOT to start CPR. We have had cases while I was a paramedic also that we'd get to a BAD wreck and someone had begun CPR. Half of the blood volume of the poor person was in the floorboard of their car. Had been hit by a BIG 18 wheeler tractor trailer. NObody should have done CPR so we just loaded and did compressions over to the ER so the doctor could give us the order to stop when we went through the door of the ER. So many CPR's are done on patients who are not a proper candidate. Some 95 year old person who's family can't bring themselves to allow the doctor to give the order for NO CPR & just give it to hospice for comfort measures only. Man that's what I'll have when I get to that point. I've had a good long talk with my primary doctor and cardiologist about my wishes so that we are all "singing on the same page of music."
Mama, you know how this is. I could go on and on, but it's complicated. Hope I've been helpful to someone.
Respectfully, RN ---Old Tired Worn To A Frazzel & "Out to Pasture"