When not to start CPR???


Lady Enjoynz
I thought I'd start this thread...because of a tragic accident that happen a few days ago, 50 minutes drive from where I live.
Some of you may have heard about it, as it made world headlines.
11 people lost their lives in a balloon the hit powerlines while deceding and the basket caught fire.
Two people jumped 100 metres out of the basket to their deaths and the others were all burnt to death in the basket,
which landed some distance away from the first couple that jumped.
It has hit our community very hard, as ballooning is a very popular attraction in our region.

The point I wish to talk about though is, there were many people that saw it happen and even a couple of nurses, who all rushed to the scene to see if they could help.
News reports said that, folk performed CPR on the balloonists (I assume the ones that jumped, but please don't quote me on that).
I guess it would have been pretty plan, given the MOI, they would not have survived such an incident.

Do you think that (layman) starting CPR, is the only way they can deal with such a taumatic situation, in the hope they may be of some help,
even given that the people are well and truly deceased?

I have heard of an EMT starting CPR on a baby that had died of cot death in the night, just to be look as though they were doing something, for the parents sake.

Your thoughts???


Forum Chief
I think you must first seperate a lay person response from a professional responder.

I do not think a lay person, even one who is a healthcare provider canbe faulted for starting CPR.

Firstly I'd rather they start it and not need it then need it and not start it.

Then we have to realize that not everyone who works in healthcare regularly attempt to resuscitate people, especially out of the hospital, as partof their job.

Asking or holding these people to the standard of an expert is not only unfair, but totally impractical.

On a handful of occasions I have personally and succesfully resuscitated people who probably should not have been attempted, but by circumstance were deemed still viable.

But that is an expert call based on specific knowledge/skill, experience, and extenuating circumstances.

Working any patient who is truly beyond help for show is completely unprofessional. I know that sometimes for provider self preservation, it is required and those are exceptional circumstances.

There is no excuse to work somebody of any age for the benefit of the family.

Not only does it create an increased cost, which may be passed onto the family, it gives false hope and inhibits the grieving process. It can even be detrimental to survivors depending on the invasiveness/aggresiveness of the resuscitation attempts if they are not normally exposed to what that actually looks like.