View Full Version : CPR: Since when is this *NOT* a Common Task ?

16 May 2001, 06:03
I was downloading training materials for Self-Aid and Buddy Care, Combat Lifesaver, and additional medical-related Army subcourses the other day and noticed with a fair measure of shock that the US Army now teaches CPR only to those personnel holding or training for medical MOS's.

I may sound like an out-of-touch dunce for having to ask this question, but having re-upped 10 months ago after a decade-long break in service and therefore having been out of the loop for a few years this is one of the many glaring changes that's come up.

Is this just an example of the general dumbing-down of America-Under-Clinton overflowing into the military, or was there actually some "valid" reason why cardopulmonary resusitation is no longer taught to "Every Swingin' Richard" (as my old Senior Drill used to say). I still remember how, back in 1981 (when I went through it), one of the very first tasks everyone was taught and expected to master in Basic Combat Training was CPR. And now, this is a "medical personnel only" task?

Somebody please tell me there was some logical reason for this change! Is it just me, or does anyone else deem it grossly irresponsible on the part of the US Army that non-18D's and non-CMF-91 types (including Combat Lifesavers) are not trained in this simple skill?

(dismounting soapbox and assuming Parade-Rest there-behind....)

16 May 2001, 10:27
Actually the American Heart Association & Red Cross made the change not the Army or Navy. For non-Healthcare Providers BLS(cpr) is not longer taught. The new course is now called "HEARTSAVER". As a BLS instructor I have to say that the new guidelines will probally do more harm to the patient than good since as of 01May01 Heartsaver's no longer check for a pulse, if the person is unresponsive to voice or light shaking the Heartsaver is instructed to call 911 and begin CPR (and you nolonger count, now you say A,B,C,D,ETC). I can see more than a few lawsuits from well intentioned people breaking ribs on drunks, or some other unconcious patient. If you still want to learn CPR find the local instructor for your units aid station and ask to get in the course. If that person has a problem with that then they're just plain stupid.

Are you gonna do something, Or just stand there and bleed?

16 May 2001, 17:06
...and what's with this shit I was told last time I took the AHA course that CPR will soon be a 3 man operation? Is that still in the works?

22 May 2001, 21:22
I train guys in CPR and Combat Lifesaver at the same time. I go thru the U.S. Army Combat Lifesaver program and the AHA for their certifications on our Team Guys. No problems.

I don't train guys to perform CPR in combat. The CPR class is in case they need to perform this task while conducting training or other events outside of combat.

The Combat Lifesaver Program can be as good or bad as the instructor who teaches it. I follow the ABC's and ingrain it in my guy's collective memory. There are ways to spice it up.

I train my guys carefully because they may have to treat me!


22 May 2001, 21:30
Originally posted by Jims:
...and what's with this shit I was told last time I took the AHA course that CPR will soon be a 3 man operation? Is that still in the works?

I haven't heard of CPR being a three man operation. If you have three guys, the first two guys should be performing CPR on the casualty and the third guy should be calling for an ambulance and grabbing an AED (Automatic External Defibulator) and returning as quickly as possible.



3 June 2001, 23:17
I am a non affilitated EMT, doing occasional volunteer work. One of the things I do is help with EMT classes. Also BTLS qualified and BLS instructor.

The new guidelines for lay rescuer do not include pulse check. Trying to teach someone to check the carotid pulse in the short time of a CPR class and have them remember it, is just about impossible. In EMT classes, it is several nights before we can get the student EMTs to get it right. Healthcare Providers are still required to do pulse checks. GLV

25 September 2001, 21:00
When I did recert this summer we were told that civilians aren't taught to do a pulse check because that AHA did a study and had a group of people do a pulse check on a heart bipass patient after his heart had been stopped (not sure how it was authorized, but that's what I was told) and over half the people got it wrong, so they decided that non-professionals wouldn't be taught to do a pulse check. Any lawsuit that comes of this would probably be thrown out because of the Good Samaritan Act, as I understand it, but I'm not a lawyer, just a college student. As far as 3 man CPR, the only instance I can think of, aside from calling help (assuming it's already been done) is to have the third person apply cricoid pressure so air doesn't build up in the stomach. That's what I know from my time on the beach patrol and what we are taught. Tim

26 September 2001, 00:59
The three man crap I was being told was your standard two man plus one guy to push on the abdomen to expell (sp?) air and, in theory, make the rescue breathing more effective. I have not heard more since, so it was either some crackpot theory or I was imagining things.

27 November 2001, 12:56
All, I actually just did the book part of CPR in my EMT class on sunday. I've got to learn some NY specific mumbo jumbo, but the rest is straight AHA and i'll be getting an AHA card for it after we do the practical stuff on sunday (a strange aside the case for the dummy we had is almost the exact same thing as the one the SPEAR ELCS comes in...) There's about a page in the text about not having lay rescuers check for pulses. Don't recall anything about a 3 rescuer CPR, but we did talk about 2 rescuer a lot (since there's generally a lot of people around here in NYC and our cops don't generally ride alone (one in class, and i think a few others who are CFRs who were allowed to skip the first few weeks of class, and a few firefighters as well. actually I think im the only person there who hasn't learned CPR before)) If i notice anything that seems of interest i'll be sure to report it to you guys, but the video we watched was for medical pro's, most of it took place in a hospital (causing the class dumbass to ask why do they keep saying code... you'd think everyone had the power of inference?)
Bill, Why don't you just march over to the White House and tell them to teach CPR again? We'll back you if they don't do as told right off. =-)

17 December 2001, 00:02
CPR should be manditory for anybody who wants to be employed in the civilized world. Full First aid & CPR certification should be manditory for all parents & legal guardians. it should be taught in high school and should be a legal requirement to take the course at least once every 10 years. I say 10 years because nobody ever really forgets how to do the actual CPR & AR, they just forget the ratios & timing. The current certification process of 2 years seems to be working well.

I used to be a Canadian Red Cross FA & CPR instructor and left just before the 2001 guideline changes. From what I understand the changes were made for the civilian community because people weren't doing CRP & AR properly for various reasons. It hasn't really effected professionals 7 military, or at least it doesn't seem so. I'm not very familiar with military style medical care so please correct me if I'm wrong.

3 person CPR? Sounds like unnecessary confusion to me. If you have a defib near by I can understand but not just plain ole CPR. What ever happened to K.I.S.S.?

Cricoid pressure on CPR? Unless you are intubating a patient there is no need for this.

The Good Samaritan Act is helpful, but not fullproof because of the world we live in.

28 December 2001, 10:29
One reason for abandoning CPR for "ordinary" soldiers maybe that cardiac arrest due to traumatic injury is almost everytime futilely (especially whithout administering drugs). Maybe they should not start losing time by trying CPR with VERY little chances of success when there are more urgent tasks at hand (eg. return fire, getting help, getting out, etc.)
Of course, CPR is very efficient when dealing with "internal" reasons of cardiac arrest.
In my experience, the most difficult task in CPR is to determine wether the patient really has a cardiac arrest or am I just not able to check his pulse correctly. Inexperienced people checking pulse at regular intervalls would probably interrupt CPR for a long time, and the possibility that sole CPR without ACLS would overcome cardiac arrest is small. Better keep on pumping until trained personnel get to you.

Always check your own pulse first :D

4 January 2002, 14:38
It seems to me, if your doing CPR correctly you really dont need someone to apply pressure to the abdomen. its been a couple years since i last recerted but i remember them telling us NOT to do this. The last i heard, the Red Cross was no longer teaching two man CPR except for health care providers. i dont know if thats true or not.

4 January 2002, 16:20
Ok, I guess I'm pretty damn current on this as I got a hundred on the multiple guess exam about 3 weeks ago. (for healthcare providers, if there's a difference on the test) Basically the AHA has made it so the real responsibility of the lay rescuer is to alert higher trained medical personel. police/fire call EMTs, EMTs call paramedics/ACLS, then to MDs or whatever. there was a whole half page on how lay rescuers have a very hard time taking a proper pulse, and that that makes it tricky then add that people dont want to do mouth to mouth anymore and you're left with airway opening and chest compressions. My solution was to shoot the lock off my wallet and buy a 15 dollar pocket mask, which i keep in my backpack that goes pretty much anywhere with me. I can't say for sure if two rescuer CPR is taught to lay rescuers, but it is the prefered method from what I was taught, but mind you that this would be for people with equipment such as BVMs, oro/masopharyngeal airways, suction devices, spinal stabilization equipment etc. Most ambulances in NYC ride with 2 or 3 people, and most of the NYPD rides 2 officers to a car so i think that would have a lot to do with it. I hope all this makes some sort of sense.
-bill (awfully proud of his 100 =-)

21 February 2002, 02:41
Originally posted by Medic21
Full First aid & CPR.... should be taught in high school....High school? In the State of Oregon, it was taught in the fifth grade! But then, that was 1974.

DocHabu: I received the AHA Heartsaver Plus certification in Nov 99, as well as the DOT First Responder curriculum as part of the Basic Peace Officer syllabus. Was taught the "old" way, so I must have caught it just before the changes you describe.

Getting started on the Texas Dept. of Health's Emergency Care Attendant course next month, BTW. (ECA is strictly a TX certification whose depth and scope falls between First Responder and EMT-B, but can be handily upgraded without having to revert to square one. I'll be taking the "academic" portion through the Distance Education Centre of the University of Texas, and doing the practical training through one of the local volunteer fire departments. Was a question of affordability *G*.)

21 February 2002, 21:57
Salter, the new standards for BLS came into affect as of 1 January 2001, But the curriculem materials didn't hit my command until atleast May of 2001. I teach BLS Provider on almost a monthly basis just too keep my staff up too date, and the best item of the new change is the adding of the BVM, and AED to the Certification process. As Murph said, a pulse check is not really taught as the BLS course is only 8 hours, and too honestly get someone without prior medical experience on how too ckeck a pulse correctly would take up too much of the class time. Now HeartSaver's learn too check for signs of life "ie pinkish skin tone, breathing, no cyanosis, etc.." Hope that helps man, if you get to Florida anytime soon I'd be more than happy too cert you in BLS-Provider.
cpr-ecc (http://www.cpr-ecc.org)