The Most Common TV Myths About CPR and AED
The influence that is brought by both television and films cannot be denied. Back when the internet was still on its way, the motion picture industry has conquered majority of the consumers. This is evident in the staggering number of studios that was built back in the day. The industry shapes lives and even fosters culture up until today. There are times, however, when the portrayals done by actors on the screen are not properly in sync with what really happens in real life. Administering CPR is one of those things.
There are numerous hospital dramas that are watched by numerous viewers, and every now and then a patient that needs CPR or AED is incorporated into its plot for the progression of story. Now this is where the crucial misconceptions happen.
Normally, when an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest happens, people who can administer CPR goes to rescue the patient. This is what really happens in real life: CPR is administered while somebody calls an ambulance, CPR is continued until AED is available. You wouldn’t hear someone yell out “I know CPR, I’ve seen it on TV!”, and give compressions to the victim. Unfortunately, this scene is always portrayed by the actors on the screen, and what’s even more disturbing is the quality of compressions that they give. The American Heart Association has given emphasis on the quality of compressions that one should give in place of breathing for the patient. Most of the time, the actors on screen do not press enough on the victim’s chest to give quality compressions. And this “act” is watched by several people who may or may not have enough knowledge on the importance of CPR as it is.
Another point worth mentioning is the proper use of AED. One of the most common setting of a hospital drama is the emergency room where a critical patient will either make it alive or not. This is natural, in a real hospital setup but for plot reasons on screen, this is a favorite. Most of the time, actors who act as doctors would “rub” the pads of the AED before giving a patient an electrical shock. Others call this a “good luck rub”; however, it does not really do anything to increase the effectivity of the AED. In fact, the rubbing of the pads can even damage the device. Also, the placement of the pads when giving a shock also differs from the practice that medical professionals do in real life. Notice how the pads are placed parallel each other across a patient’s chest? That’s not how you do it. The National Institute of Health instructs the placement of one pad on the right center of the person’s chest just above the nipple and the other pad slightly below the other nipple and to the left of the rib cage. And one thing that is the mother of all misconceptions of CPR and AED: the flat-line. Medically speaking, you cannot revive a patient with a flat-line. An AED can only go as far as correcting the irregular heartbeat, not restart a heart. The only way to treat a patient with a flat-line is through CPR.
Of course, you can still continue to watch these medical dramas that you see on TV but it is vital that you know this information so you can decipher an act for a fact. Learning CPR and AED from television or online videos for that matter can only help you so far but taking proper training from credible professionals such as Citywide CPR can give you real facts that you can use in real-life.