The dangerous moment
Way back in 1996, just after graduation in college, I led a group of boys younger than myself. We went to the river in central Philippines. We reached our destination -- our favorite place we call "green" because of the crystal clear color of the water. In that place there is a big limestone with a hole underneath big enough to allow one person to go through at a time. There were seven of us. I volunteered myself to be the first and wait for the rest to go through. Shocked to know that only six went through.
How I helped
I immediately examined what was happening. I found out that one boy became sandwiched at the upper portion of the hole. We managed to recover the victim from there after maybe 2-3 minutes. I did't have formal training in first aid at that time, but I'd heard about CPR. I brought the boy to the river bank and conducted my own style of compressions to the chest, stomach, and put the boy upside down through the help of the other young boys. The victim suddenly vomited and gasping for air. His color changed to the normal color of a human being. All of us shouted for joy; the boy was back to life.
- Be brave don't lose hope
- Don't leave a person who needs help
- Use available knowledge or ideas in first aid
- First aid training should be given to all able persons
- Helping a victim back to life is so rewarding
Thank you for your website, I learned many things about first aid now. And proud to tell you that I am a red cross volunteer in the Philippines already. Working as combat FA in my unit. Philippine national police. God bless and more power.
Rod Brouhard, First Aid Guide, says:
Thanks to freddie for those kind words and great advice. His story is inspiring. I want to point out that the first three points of his lessons learned are words to live by: don't give up and no matter what, do something. Take a CPR class. Take a first aid class. But even if you haven't had training, you can still help a person in need by using common sense.
Finally, freddie left us with a question: "In 2-3 minutes without oxygen, the brain could die. Why was the victim revived with no signs of medical problem?"
The brain is a remarkable organ, and even though it needs a relatively constant supply of oxygen and nutrients, it is capable of surviving without either for a short time. Conventional theory is that the brain can't survive longer than 4 minutes without blood flow, but that's not a hard and fast rule. It's not like you could use a stopwatch to revive someone at 3 minutes, 59 seconds and breathe a sigh of relief that you just averted disaster. It's very possible that by that time, serious brain damage has already occurred.
It's also quite possible that the brain could go 5 minutes without blood flow and still survive. There've been many reports of kids disappearing in very cold water for more than half an hour, only to be resuscitated without any measurable brain damage. I don't know why freddie's young victim didn't have any obvious defecits; I'm just glad he doesn't.
Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.