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  • Treatment of Lifeless Patient (No vital signs) from probable overpressure

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    Old 02-16-2021, 09:35 AM   #1
    divereodj43's Avatar
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    Treatment of Lifeless Patient (No vital signs) from probable overpressure

    There is a debate going on at our command concerning the immediate treatment of an unconscious diver with no vital signs. Here's the scenario:

    A diver is subjected to an underwater blast. The affected diver is retrieved by another diver and is unconscious with no vital signs upon surfacing (no pulse, no respirations).

    Question: should you perform CPR on the patient en route to higher medical care?

    One faction is arguing that you SHOULD NOT perform CPR due to probable overpressure injuries to the thoracic cavity because compressions may exacerbate those injuries and that the only course of action is to call an ambulance with ACLS capabilities.

    Another faction is arguing that you SHOULD perform CPR in order to push blood to the brain because permanent brain damage occurs after 4 minutes without oxygen and irreversible death can occur within 8 minutes, and that the likelihood of getting the patient back to land and into a responding ambulance within that timeframe is quite low.

    What would be the better course of action and is there any literature on this subject to back it up?

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