FAQ Level 3 Award for First Responders on Scene: Emergency First Responder (RQF) FROS® - Online Blended Part 1

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CPR Risks

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Risks and Benefits of Bystander CPR

Understanding the Impact of Bystander CPR

Bystander CPR is a crucial intervention during cardiac emergencies, but it's essential to understand the associated risks and benefits.

1. Minimal Risk of Harm

Key Point: Bystander CPR rarely causes serious harm to victims.

  • While CPR may lead to rib fractures or organ damage in rare cases, the benefits outweigh the risks.
  • Providers should not hesitate to initiate CPR due to fears of causing harm, as the person is already in a critical state.

2. Infection Risk and Precautions

Important Consideration: CPR poses an infection risk, but standard precautions mitigate this risk.

  • Infection risk is minimal when there are no body fluids present, but standard precautions should still be observed.

3. Potential Rescuer Injuries

Be Aware: CPR may lead to muscle strain or other injuries in rescuers, though these occurrences are rare.

  • Rescuers experiencing significant symptoms during training should stop and seek medical attention.
  • Manual chest compressions should not be continued during defibrillator shock delivery due to the risk of injury.

4. Psychological Effects

Addressing Concerns: Adverse psychological effects post-CPR are relatively uncommon, but should be addressed if experienced.

  • CPR providers experiencing psychological distress should consult a healthcare professional for support.

Conclusion: Prioritizing Life-Saving Measures

While bystander CPR entails certain risks, its potential to save lives far outweighs these concerns. Providers should be aware of safety measures and seek assistance if needed.