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Article by The Associated Press


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Rene' Koenig
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  • Article by The Associated Press

    Hi Everyone!

    Did anyone see the article written by Daniel Yee of The Associated Press?

    The jist of the article was that football star Ryan Boslet died even though there was a portable defibrillator available. School staff members and coaches couldn't figure out how to work it.

    "Boslet's death a year ago points to a larger problem: Ordinary people, even with training, often can't use the increasingly popular defibrillators under pressure of an emergency." "It's not the box on the wall that saves a life - someone has to be trained to know what to do in an emergency and how to use it. That's what saves a life." - Robin McCune of The American Heart Association.



  • #2
    Re: Article by The Associated Press

    The fact that a 6th grader can operate an AED says a great deal for its ease in operation. The fact that adults could not follow the simple instructions on the device does not say a great deal for those who were present at this tragic event.
    I also think this reporter should have done more research prior to printing an article that is based in the opinions of a very few people who had a poor experience.
    I also know of a kindergarden class that was given 20 minutes of training and were able to use the device on dummies!

    AED's SAVE LIVES - that is the take home message!

    Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
    YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

    Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
    lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
    Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
    Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
    Currently not obstructed
    Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)


    • #3
      Re: Article by The Associated Press


      I agree! I was interested in trying to have defibrillators put in the schools in this county, just as many others have done in their community. The first thing that I thought when I read it was "How many potential sponsors would an article like this scare away?"

      The article took up close to 1/4 page of the newspaper, and the headline was in large letters, obvioulsy. Toward the end of the article, it does mention that 6 people unfamiliar with the devices used them to revive heart attack victims at Chicaago's airports. But, it was definately the headline that grabbed my attention. How sad. If you'd like, I can fax the article to the office if you'd like to read the entire thing.



      • #4
        Re: Article by The Associated Press

        I forgot to mention that the article was in our city newspaper. Maybe they are the ones that came up with the headline and the article was written a reporter with The Associated Press. Not really sure how the media thing works. Either way, LOTS of people would have read it.



        • #5
          Re: Article by The Associated Press

          I've thought about this topic often, so i'd like to chime in if i may.

          In my mind, this situation isn't quite so cut and dry, and therefore i am reticent to immediately cast blame on those present at the scene. It's not just a matter of knowing how to follow the instructions and use the AED properly. I would think just about anybody could learn to use one in a calm, controlled training environment on a dummy... even a schoolchild as Lisa has said.

          But in real-life situations there's likely to be an element of panic and confusion at first, and somebody's got to make the decision to go get the AED to begin with. Once this happens, hopefully the person or persons who were properly trained on it's use (if any) are even present. Many minutes could pass before the AED even arrives on the scene, let alone the confusion of learning how to use it for the first time in a panic situation.

          Perhaps also this may be one of those situations where folks are afraid to be the one to use it for fear that they may cause more harm than good. I'm sure quite a few people at this point will just back away and say 'i'm not gonna be the one to do it... you do it.'

          What happened to Ryan Boslet is terribly unfortunate of course... the man should never have died. I just don't think we can sit back and say that the people on the scene were negligent. I think we also have to understand that as HCM'ers, we have a unique perspective on this. We talk about this kind of thing on the board everyday. Your average man or woman on the street has never even heard of an AED, let alone know how or when to use it.

          So as Robin McCune of The American Heart Association stated... this all comes down to training...

          My understanding of an AED is that it is impossible to hurt someone with it. If the heart doesn't need it... the AED will not deliver the shock. Did the people on the scene know this, or were they afraid that they might hurt the guy? How many football players fall to the ground during a typical season? Aren't the majority of these cases injury-related and not heart-related? How does one know when an AED is even needed? Are the coaches, etc. being trained that anytime a player falls, the AED should be retrieved immediately just in case? Is there possibly some lag time while the determination is made that it is heart-related?

          Of course i'm not trying to justify what happened that day... i'm just not so quick to say that anyone can learn and use an AED in an emergency situation such as this one. Much more education and training is needed of course, and i believe that this is where our problem lies. Securing the equipment is only the first step.

          "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."


          • #6
            Re: Article by The Associated Press

            You do make a good point in your statement. Let's face a big fact. How many people here on the board have ever come across someone who has had a SCD? How many have known people who have had to do CPR on someone or have performed it themselves? Now same question just insert AED.

            We must of course disqualify from this data tabulation those of us who in the medical field have had this experience .

            In it's raw and graphic state the appearance of apparent sudden death is one of the most horrifying things an individual , any individual may ever have to witness. I relay this from the standpoint of remembering the experiences I had. The adrenalin rush alone could , as the blood is pumping up to your brain obscurring ones faculties interfer in an individuals response.

            I know that the first ones I participated in were in a clinical setting. I had trouble hearing because all I could here was my own heart beating and then there was the hand trembling and breathing with such force I felt everyone could hear me.

            I think as a nurse I was lucky ,I had much experience with CPR and defibrillation in a controlled clinical setting and I only had to do CPR one time alone out in the community and it was on a family member who died secondary to the delay in time.
            I remember the shock even as a seasoned trained individual. A trained individual still has to perform a rapid assessment of the situation and separate quickly their emotions, formulate a plan and act quickly. Training gave me much security here. How much training and familiarity do lay people get?

            I agree that AED's will and do save lives but we have to realize that there will be times that some lives will unfortunately be lost. Some of these losses will occur at the hands of those who have never entertained the idea that something like this could happen or that they could ever possibly play a key role in saving anothers life by using an AED.

            I think it is all of our responsibilities to help educate ourselves and those we know so that this is a familiar process . Hopefully in the near future the idea of using an AED will not be a fearfull ,foreign concept.

            Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
            Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
            Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
            SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
            [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
            Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
            Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
            Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin


            • #7
              Re: Article by The Associated Press

              Jim and Pam,

              You both expressed many good points.

              The article states "the trained staffer couldn't find the device's pads, which were tucked under a flap inside the box." Personally, I have never even seen a defibrillator...except walking by them at the airport! I would venture to say that they are foreign to most of the population. I had no idea that you can't harm a person by using it, if it isn't actually necessary. The only way that I know that the instructions on how to use it are on it, is through this websight.

              Several years back I witnessed my husband doing CPR on a man. I was scared and mortified to say the least. Fortunately, he is a nurse by profession and also has a very calm personality. He was as cool as a cucumber, doing what had to be done in a very organized manner. Most of the others at the scene (they weren't family or friends) were frantic, not knowing exactly what they should be doing, and basically panicking. If I were faced with that situation, would I panic and not know what the heck to do, and the knowledge that I have go right out the window? Quite possibly, but no one knows until we are actually in the situation. I am certainly not placing blame on the people at the scene.

              Knowing how to use a defibrillator needs to be as commonplace as knowing how to do the heimlich maneuver or CPR. It would be a great thing to teach students in health class and maybe employers or hospitals could have training sessions. Who's responsibility should it be to make the general public knowledgable about them? Like a fire extinguisher, the instructions are there...but isn't it better to be familiar with it BEFORE being faced with having to actually use it?

              As far as the article in the newspaper, the headline is really what I felt was misleading: "lack of training makes defibrillators useless." In that unfortunate situation, no, having a defibrillator there didn't save his life. But that hardly makes defibrillators useless. How many lives HAVE been saved by a person who has never been trained to use one, but did?

              You're right, having access to them is only the first step.



              • #8
                Re: Article by The Associated Press

                I wrote about this when Sarah Friend died, so I won’t belabor the point now. I’d just like to mention what I feel is the ‘normal’ approach to learning about the operation of an AED.

                Most laymen will listen to the instructor with half an ear because they feel that they will probably never need to use it, and it’s not their job anyway. “If it is needed, somebody else can do it. I’m not going to stick my neck out and get sued. Let the paramedics use it.” A week after their instruction they may no longer even recognize the equipment, and have no idea as to when and how it should be used. Evidence not even being able to find the paddles inside the unit.

                I think getting the AED’s is the first giant step – but only the first step. I think the designated operators should have to use it on a dummy at least once a month, and they should be drilled on the concept that if used when it is not needed – no harm will be done to the person on the floor. One dummy could serve an entire school district, passing it from school to school. The inspectors of commercial and other establishments should carry a dummy with them, and testing the designated operators should be part of the site examinations.

                Only with repetition can we hope to have the designated user grab the equipment and use it in a quick and efficient manner. It should be the next thing to a reflex action, and they should know they will be safe from any consequences if they do use it.


                • #9
                  Re: Article by The Associated Press

                  I agree, the article is inaccurate. We have an AED for my son (and I if necc.). My other two kids (6 and 8) know how to use it... it took less than 1/2 hour to "train" them and the defib tells you what to do from step one (place the pags on the patients chest) until it decides if a shock is needed or not and tells you (if necessary) to press the button. If the folks couldn't figure out how to use that defib. they either had an old device or very low IQ's.


                  • #10
                    Re: Article by The Associated Press

                    I agree that the problem is that people get panicked in the emergency and the adrenalin makes them reason poorly. But, there is a possible solution - appoint "cool responders" and train them well.

                    The husband my company used to work for when we lived in the US selected people on each floor to go through training to enable them to be first responders in any emergency situation. They learned and recertified in situation assessment, CPR and defibrillator use every year. Ed was one of them. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he would have used the equipment and used it correctly in an emergency. Why? Because his company had the sense to choose people who were cool responders to take the training. Ed is the calmest person in an emergency that you could ever want. I have to admit that occasionally this is frustrating when I am feeling terrible and I want him to get a little upset, but most of the time this is very reassuring. I know that if something really bad happens, he will make wise choices because his brain is not befuddled with adrenalin.

                    So, my point is that maybe schools and other places which have AED's should be instructed to think of the people who are cool reactors and have them specially trained to be the people on call if the AED is needed.



                    • #11
                      Re: Article by The Associated Press

                      yes, I agree completely! All of us have a drop in IQ when under pressure. Some people deal with it better than others


                      • #12
                        Re: Article by The Associated Press

                        I'm not sure if this applies to other high schools but I know in my school we had to take a class that dealt with human growth and development. It was a requirement by the school but in order to pass the class you had to have CPR and AED certification. If you did not pass you did not graduate. This in the traditional classroom setting took about a week so we had five hours of training on it. I think this would be wonderful idea to implement in all schools it was free to the children and it might just save a life one day.

                        Burt also had a good point when he talked about the I'm not gonna do it because I'll get sued bit. A few weeks ago when I was talking to some other nursing students I asked them if they would stop on the side of the road to help some one. Out of the five people who I was talking to no one would stop to help. The said they didn't like the idea of it out of a clinical setting and that they would have to wait until someone more qualified came to assit or wait to tell their story to the police. The said they didn't have time for it and they weren't paid to do it. That deeply disturbed me. What is our future going to be like if we don't have good samaritans? Everyone has become so frightened with the word "sued" that it will cost many lives. The students I talked to didn't even know there was a Good Samaritan Law that would protect them.

                        And yes in an Emergency sometimes even the most seasoned veteran can blank out. Especially if it is a child. These things you never get "used" to.

                        I'll get off my soapbox now!

                        Mary S.


                        • #13
                          Re: Article by The Associated Press

                          I couldn't agree more! This whole "sue-happy" society we live in is pitifull. 99.99% of the time action is better than inaction when it comes to helping someone in need. For the .01%, we can't be afraid to help the 99.99%. Since when do we make the rules based on the exceptions?


                          • #14
                            Re: Article by The Associated Press

                            I think all AEDs should have a sticker on them that says "You can't be sued for trying to save someone's life! We promise!"

                            Most every state protects the good samaritan; see this site:


                            • #15
                              Re: Article by The Associated Press

                              There are a lot of different models of AED's out there. How do we know which one will be available at the time that it is needed. The purchaser chooses which AED to buy for any number of reasons - the ease of operation may be simpler, the service policy may be better, the price may be cheaper, the device case may be better insulated (some areas may need a more sturdy device), the battery life may be longer, some have a view screen while others don't, the replacement defib pads may be cheaper for one model than another. A different machine than you trained on is going to make the use more intimidating.

                              As for children being able to operate it, sometimes they just do it and don't think about it. We adults are so overwelmed by the potential of what all could and might happen, that the little ones with so much video game experience can out-perfom us easily.

                              It's just a shame that the true meaning of the article as I see it, became warped and twisted. Let's make this marvelous newly available device live up to it's potential. Let's get more people better trained and familiar with the AED. American Heart Association is in the business of saving lives. I can't help but think the reporter just quoted what he/she chose from the interview.



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