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Bureaucracy gone mad

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Lucy Lee View Drop Down
Far too distracted from work
Far too distracted from work

Joined: 17 Mar 04
Location: United Kingdom
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 276
Post Options Post Options   Quote Lucy Lee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Nov 04 at 10:18am

[QUOTE=Garry] They state that 80% of cardiac arrest cases are venticular fibrillation and this can be treated with a defibrillator

To the best of my knowledge this is true of you count all cardiac arrests. The bizzare thing is that the majority of these take place in a coronary care unit, when the patient is being monitored after a heart attack or during a period of unstable angina. In these cases it is absolutely true that prompt and competent use of a defib will massively increase your chances of survival! These cardiac arrests will almost all be due to ischaemic heart disease.

There are two problems with applying this logic to a watersports environmet:     

1) People who are out doing watersports are at low risk of a cardiac arrest from ischaemic heart disease (compared to the general population), because they are actually doing some exercise, and it is reasonable to assume that they do not suffer from exertional angina (otherwise they wouldn't be out there in a boat!). Therefore the actual risks of someone who participates in a sporting activity have an arrest are smaller that the general population. This may not be true for the spectators / non-active participants.         ; ;         

2) The most likely type of heart attack in someone reasonably young and fit who has been sailing / windsurfing is going to be an 'EMD' arrest, brought on by hypothermia or drowning. An automatic defibrillator (AED) won't let you shock an EMD rythmn. But here is the scary bit: if you try to resussitate someone with a core temp below 28 deg you can precipitate a VF arrest, at which point the AED will try to shock the subject. Defibrillation will not be successful until the core temp is >30deg, but of course you can't effectively re-warm someone if you have their chest exposed to deliver shocks.

In otherwords: a complete nightmare, and very confusing / frightening for anyone trying to decide what to do.

Edited by Lucy Lee
Fly Cherub!
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