Sudden cardiac arrest during firefighting operations is a big concern; therefore, when the unthinkable happens, we have to be ready to provide the best care we can. We know that there are a few basic principles that underlie a successful resuscitation:
1.) Early high quality compressions (HQ-CPR): The sooner we can initiate high quality compression the better.
2.) High Chest Compression Fraction (CCF 90%): In order to maximize the chance of a neurologically intact survivor, we need to maintain near constant compressions during the entire resuscitation.
However, we may encounter a unique situation when resuscitating a downed firefighter – they can be donned in full turnout gear (TOG) with an SCBA!
This will give us, in essence, an access issue.
Our ability to initiate the fundamentals of resuscitation are hindered. Yes … we can – and should – practice the skill of doffing an unresponsive firefighter in full gear. This can be done in many ways; however, even in the best circumstance, this will delay lifesaving chest compressions.
We’ve addressed this issue and developed a technique in which we can initiate immediate CPR and doff the gear without stopping lifesaving high quality compressions.
We are simply calling it Firefighter Down-CPR (FD-CPR).
Let’s protect our own …