Mom, Mom….what’s happening?

I have taken CPR/First Aid training and hoped and prayed that I would never have to use it. Well, this week I was extremely thankful that I knew how to use it. My 79 year old dad fell at home and called for my mom to help him up. She was traumatized that he had fallen, thinking that he had experienced a dizzy spell, but he had tripped over a water downspout. His wrist started to swell, he did not want to get medical treatment saying that he would be fine. My mom felt otherwise and called me to come and convince him to get treatment. When I arrived they were both in the garage. After some brief chatter, my dad wanted to show me where he fell at the side of the house so we proceeded to go to the spot and he was explaining what had happened. My mom was behind us and she was talking…..then, all of a sudden her speech became incoherent jibberish like, her face became severely distorted, she began drooling and she started convulsing. My immediate thought was that she was having a stroke. I asked my dad to help me lay her on the ground, I called 911, tried to keep my dad calm, and checked her pulse. My brother is a Firefighter and all I kept thinking was that I hoped and prayed he was not working that day! My mom’s pulse was very faint, she was barely breathing and her lips were turning blue. I rubbed my knuckles on her chest but she did not respond at all. I began CPR with the help of the 911 operator counting with me, I continued until help arrived. What seemed like an eternity for EMS to arrive, was actually about 4 minutes. 2 ambulances, and a fire truck came. They worked on my mom and she started to become responsive once in the ambulance. They took my dad in the other one and off they went. My dad did break his wrist, they put a cast on him and was able to go home. My mom did have a cardiac episode of some kind because her heart enzymes were elevated. I remember talking to EMS and Firefighters during the episode. The assured me that I did a great job. I drove myself to the hospital but now barely remember that ride because I was in a fog. My mom is still in the hospital for more tests as I write this but she is doing OK and is being closely monitored.

It’s been 3 days since it all happened so I have had some time to process the events. I believe I acted based on what was needed at the time, I don’t remember giving it very much thought. I did have a melt down 2 days later when everything hit me. That needed to happen for me to be OK. My brother reassured me that I did everything by the book and it saved my mom’s life. I have to believe I was at the right spot at the right time.

New Research article reports Lay Bystanders’ Perspectives on What Facilitates CPR and AED use in Real Cardiac Arrests

Many patients who suffer an out‐of‐hospital cardiac arrest will fail to receive bystander intervention (cardiopulmonary resuscitation [CPR] or defibrillation) despite widespread CPR training and the dissemination of automated external defibrillators (AEDs). The authors of a new research article published in the Journal of the American Heart Association sought to investigate what factors encourage lay bystanders to initiate CPR and AED use in a cohort of bystanders previously trained in CPR techniques who were present at an out‐of‐hospital cardiac arrest.

Read the full article here!