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dream from last night


We were at IPC at a convention.  I was sitting in the back and there was a small commotion behind the last bench of the men’s section.  Babuuncle, Podiyammauntie’s husband, had collapsed and was having trouble breathing.  They called for medical attention and Nan was there, extremely pregnant, and couldn’t do much that required being on the floor.  I bent over to check if he was breathing and Nan asked me if I knew CPR.  I said, that’s about the only thing I DO know so let’s get started. 

This is the part of the dream that was so real.  I have been teaching CPR for two and a half years and maybe I took all of that to heart, because I really felt like I was performing CPR on him.  I almost always forget to teach folks to take off any shirt or clothes blocking access to the chest, but I instinctively loosened his tie and opened his shirt.  I can see his undershirt there.  I bent over to listen to him breathe and I actually felt the warmth, but my mind was processing– no, that’s not breathing, that’s agonal breaths.  I turned to Nan and said, I have to start CPR. 

Again, although in a real life situation I might have started with the compressions because “it’s the most important part of CPR,” my book learning came in and I did the right thing by giving him two breaths.  When I gave him the first breath, I actually felt the warmth of his mouth and I unexpectedly felt my breath stay in his mouth instead of going into his lungs.  I readjusted his head and gave another breath before jumping to compressions. 

I originally aimed the compressions at the spot relative to where the nipple line is on the manikin, but in a real human, I realized that it was lower, and in my head reminded myself to remind future classes of the same.  And even though I got my fancy new Prestan manikins with the harder depth clicker, it took so much more effort to push down than I expected.  I was also confused because I had been taught (and consequently teach) that if you do CPR correctly you will probably break the person’s sternum, but I didn’t know if that meant I should try to break the sternum or if I should just try to press down as hard as possible.  I pressed down as hard as possible, felt the crush of something breaking under my hands and kept the compressions going.

And that’s all I remember.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. The Med Student Formerly Known As permalink
    2009-07-30 6:37 AM


    • 2009-08-01 8:38 PM

      I know.

      Off-topic, but why don’t you come down early now that you’re done with your test?

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