Out the Comet's Ass

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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Keep Singing "Staying Alive"

Last Spring I was sitting in a library and a man had a seizure. I never found out what the reason was for the seizure. This guy was walking towards the door and he suddenly just flopped on to his stomach, flat jack style. Nobody knew what to do. I ran to ask the Librarian to call someone and she nodded at me looking annoyed. She was on the phone. I assumed that she was calling 911. She was standing, looking in the direction of the man and all the people crowding around him. But, apparently she was talking to someone else. I ran back to the group and told them that 911 had been called. An old woman walked over and said she was a nurse. She and another man rolled the man over. The man was out and out ugly and was drewling and frothing at the mouth. The rest of us backed away and eventually the nurse started giving him mouth to mouth. I asked if we should do chest compressions. Sorry, with Venus in Virgo and Capricorn Moon there's no way in hell I was locking lips with that situation. The nurse said no. No compressions.

It turns out that "yes," you chose compressions over mouth to mouth. The reason is that time is of the essence and most people who need chest compressions are unhealthy, probably ugly like this guy, and everyone's going to stand around waiting for someone else to say that they'll do it.

I just found this article here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101005/ap_on_he_me/us_med_hands_only_cpr. There's an explanation. And there's a song to keep the beat which is pretty fast. "Staying Alive." Like 100 beats a minute.

So we all stood there for a couple of minutes believing that the Librarian had called 911 and that the nurse was a nurse. The guy was still really stiff and eventually he turned very purple. Another woman screamed why hadn't somebody called the paramedics, whipped out her cell phone, and dialed 911. This time they showed up. But the man had turned limp and white and was frosting over blue. He had died but no one said he was dead. You could see the panic in the paramedics' faces. The Librarian never left her desk. Man, I think I'm useless in emergencies, at least I stand around and lend a panic. The paramedics took out the defibrillators and got some color back in the man's skin and put him on a gurney and wheeled him out. He didn't look as ugly at that point.



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