Emergency Care in Rural Communities

By Vince Pagano


Imagine a scenario in which a family member or friend is rendered unconscious and does not have a detectable heart beat or breath as a result of a heart attack, chocking, electric shock, drowning, etc. Would you be prepared to handle attempts to save the personís life before help arrives? Time is of the essence, since brain damage and death ensue after approximately 4 minutes of breathlessness.

Another critical emergency scenario is one in which there is arterial bleeding, which requires intervention within 1 minute. Would you be prepared to effectively intervene before the EMTs arrive?

Remember, the arrival time of rescue teams via ambulance, Medivac or LifeFlight at rural communities may be well beyond the critical periods mentioned above.

Be Prepared

Obviously, if you already have not done so, the best way to prepare is to get training in CPR and First Aid.

Courses are available through the American Red Cross ( www.nyredcross.org ) or American Heart Association ( www.americanheart.org ). The participant in these courses, after successful completion, becomes certified. Certification qualifies the rescuer to provide emergency care to the general public until professional help arrives. .However, there is a time commitment of from 4 to 8 hours and payment of a fee. Interestingly, the American Heart Association provides a less time consuming and less expensive alternative in their Family and Friends CPR Anytime Personal Learning Program which "allows families, friends, and the general public to learn the core skills of CPR in just 22 minutes." For information on ordering CPR Anytime call 1-877-AHA-4CPR or visit www.cpranytime.org.

Note: The CPR Guide Depicted below is intended for demonstration purposes only. It is not intended as a replacement for proper instruction and practice of CPR.