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#165827 - 01/31/09 01:19 PM EDCing a pocket CPR mask and nitrile gloves
Frankie Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 734
Loc: Montréal, Québec, Canada
I just got the 16 hours first aid and CPR training and now I'm a so called Certified First Responder. We practiced on mannequins, familiarized ourselves with defibrillators, practiced tying triangular bandages etc.

Now if all you can do is call 911 because you don't have nitrile gloves and a CPR mask on you when it happens, then all this training is useless. So do you carry a pocket CPR mask and nitrile gloves everyday? Do you have tips and recommendations? Have you ever had to perform compressions and breathing and all that stuff?


#165832 - 01/31/09 02:16 PM Re: EDCing a pocket CPR mask and nitrile gloves [Re: Frankie]
MDinana Offline

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2186
Loc: Bluegrass
Do I EDC a CPR mask and gloves? Short answer: No. But, I do have a FAK in my car, and my backpack has a CPR mask (when I have it with me). There's a thread somewhere where a lot of us posted our FAK's.

So you're probably asking why I don't carry stuff. First, I'm an EMT, so you'd think I should. And for a time I did carry a mask on my keychain. But it was big and bulky, and never got used. With the recent changes in CPR (in the US at least), they're really going away from the mouth-to-mouth part, and just doing compressions till EMS arrives. If I happen to stop in my car, then I have the equipment for an extended full arrest, but if I'm just around town, I figure I can push on a chest for the 5 or so minutes till EMS arrives. The lungs, btw, do have quite a bit of air that we don't use, which is why the no-breathing methods still work.

As for why I don't wear gloves, it's cuz most of the time, you aren't exposed to things. Intact skin is a great barrier to infection (or else we'd all be dead a week after being born). Unless there's body fluids everywhere, or the person has some raging skin/lung infection, I just don't worry about it. Hand washing is pretty much all one needs to avoid transmission. Even then, if someone's blood or vomit or saliva hits my hand, as long as I don't have a cut or scrape in that area, I still don't freak much.

I can't tell you why, but as an EMT on an ambulance it was gloves on every patient. But in the ER, it was "as needed." Probably cuz we had access to hand foam and sinks immediately, whereas on the ambulance we'd wait a half hour until we dropped the patient off to wash off.

Anyway, after 12 years of EMS, I still haven't caught anything nasty. Probably can blame a few colds on patients, but that's a mask thing. YMMV.

#165833 - 01/31/09 02:28 PM Re: EDCing a pocket CPR mask and nitrile gloves [Re: Frankie]
ratbert42 Offline

Registered: 05/31/06
Posts: 178
Loc: Florida
I used to carry the American Red Cross keychain pack. Every local Red Cross chapter sells them. I stopped carrying it after about a year because it was just so bulky (and to be honest, weird). I still carried just gloves for another 2-3 years. I kept them in a second wallet with a couple other supplies. If you've got the pocket space, a second wallet is a really easy way to carry stuff. I like gloves as an a good alternative water carrier in a PSK.

I still have a shield stuck in my "car crash" bag in my car, but that's it. I carry gloves in both of our cars and a kit that I keep in my laptop bag, but they're not always with me anymore.

The shields kind of suck. You probably didn't even use one in class. I honestly doubt I would use one even if I had it with me unless there was some blood and it was a younger stranger.

I've dealt with a couple bloody traumas and a puker without wearing gloves. You can gauge the risk based on the patient and minimize it with layers of fabric or plastic or anything else you can grab, but nothing beats having a couple pairs of gloves (and water to scrub with).

What sucks is that I've dealt with patients in locations like church or stores that should have their own equipment and their staff should have some minimal training. You sure can't count on any staff member touching a patient or even bringing you a first aid kit. If you jump into a situation like that, you need to expect to have to run the entire scene. Make them call 911 and make them do it from a land-line phone not their cell phone. That way the dispatch center will get the right street address automatically from the caller id. Have someone meet the EMTs, show them which building, and bring them to you. Ask them if they have a first aid kit, blankets, towels, etc. and make them bring them to you.

Don't worry about asking them to bring you a bunch of legal forms to sign waiving your right to sue them. They'll have those there for you automatically before the EMTs even show up. My personal advice would be to disappear into the crowd once the EMTs take over. Don't sign anything and don't give your name to anyone. You won't get a medal for your effort. You're more likely to get a subpoena instead.

I've never had to perform CPR for real but I saw it done once. She didn't survive. I don't think any class I've seen really prepares you for the mental aspects. A dummy just doesn't make the same sounds as a real person. More importantly, you don't talk about feeling guilt because you couldn't save a person. It's even worse with all the movies and TV shows where 15 seconds of CPR, chest pounding, and yelling always bring the patient back.

#165839 - 01/31/09 03:03 PM Re: EDCing a pocket CPR mask and nitrile gloves [Re: ratbert42]
MDinana Offline

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2186
Loc: Bluegrass
Originally Posted By: ratbert42
She didn't survive. I don't think any class I've seen really prepares you for the mental aspects. A dummy just doesn't make the same sounds as a real person.

Yeah, they really need a dummy where the ribs break and you're crunching every time you push down, with a free floating sternum bouncing around.

And they need to make you do CPR like 15 minutes by yourself...

#165841 - 01/31/09 03:06 PM Re: EDCing a pocket CPR mask and nitrile gloves [Re: MDinana]
scafool Offline

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Crunching ribs are OK.
If their heart is not beating they are dead anyhow.
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

#165842 - 01/31/09 03:07 PM Re: EDCing a pocket CPR mask and nitrile gloves [Re: MDinana]
TeacherRO Offline

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2396
Carry gloves for 7 years, never used them, mask in my kit.

#165854 - 01/31/09 03:58 PM Re: EDCing a pocket CPR mask and nitrile gloves [Re: Frankie]
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
I was a LEO for 30+ years, EMT for 20+. I still have a pocket mask and gloves in my car kit. Carried a shield/gloves in a cargo pocket for years, finally stopped. I have never had to do a thing off duty (lucky me). On duty I did full blown CPR probably 20+ times, once for over a half hour (talk about tired!). Lost every one of them (all from closed head injuries after being ejected from an overturning vehicle at high speeds...wear those seat belts)...

#165856 - 01/31/09 04:21 PM Re: EDCing a pocket CPR mask and nitrile gloves [Re: Frankie]
Arney Offline

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Good for you for going through training, regardless of whether it was a personal choice or a work requirement.

Like others, just carrying one of those little pouches with a mask and gloves become inconvenient. I don't carry one of those little kits. I would not say that your training is useless since information is generally more critical than equipment. Whether you want to "go hands on" on a real emergency, with or without protective gear, is a choice that you will have to make for yourself. But beyond that simple choice, being able to remember what you were taught is the most important thing. If you don't periodically refresh your memory, it becomes very easy to forget.

I was recently re-certified using a different protocol from what I had last been taught, and just now, I'm embarrassed to say that I couldn't immediately remember the new protocol until I thought about it for a minute. During the extreme stress of a real emergency, I imagine that it would've been even harder for me to recall the information. I need to pull out the materials from that class again...

One step to take is to find out where the first aid kit and AED are located in places where you regularly spend time, like the gym, at work, or the supermarket. Obviously, every situation is different, but if you want protective equipment, then you may be able to retrieve them from those resources.

Although this outcome is the exception rather than the rule, here's a very recent "save" of someone by a regular person using CPR and an AED, as inspiration to keep mentally refreshing that first aid and CPR information. This guy is a hero in my book.

CPR Saves Fallen Tennis Player

#165857 - 01/31/09 04:27 PM Re: EDCing a pocket CPR mask and nitrile gloves [Re: OldBaldGuy]
WB2QGZ Offline

Registered: 03/01/03
Posts: 25
Loc: FN30gq Long Island, NY
I've carried a mini-shield and a pair of gloves on my keychain for at leat 10 years, was a volunteer firefighter/EMT. I used the MDI CPR microshield, removed the paper liner/direction sheet and refolded the shield with a pair of nitrile gloves wrapped around it. No more bulky than the original package, about 2x3, and 1 inch-ish thick. The bad news is without the paper wrapping the shield seems to crack on the seams a bit sooner, but I still got a good 3 years out of them and did not have an issue replacing them for 8 or so bucks. Used it once, was glad I had it with me instead of in the car or somewhere else, can't beat having it on you when you're out. On the keyring pretty much insures you don't have to worry about sticking it in a pocket or whatever. Space in the pocket was no issue with cargo pants, but is at a premium in jeans.

Gloves were used way more often, happened upon plenty of vehicle collisions in the course of driving around so I found the gloves pretty useful.

Edited by WB2QGZ (01/31/09 04:31 PM)

#165871 - 01/31/09 07:22 PM Re: EDCing a pocket CPR mask and nitrile gloves [Re: WB2QGZ]
kd7fqd Offline

Registered: 08/07/05
Posts: 359
Loc: Saratoga Springs,Utah,USA
I EDC this everyday in my car, I keep it there 24/7




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