Tuesday, November 3, 2009

KAUST CPR, and Other Medical Emergencies

I have a story to share which made me laugh so hard I cried. I hope you will enjoy this as well.

One of my friends was feeling ill after he finished a brutal exam last week. He complained about sharp pain in his chest when breathing and was rubbing his rib cage. He went to the information desk in the classroom building and asked them to call an ambulance to take him to the clinic.

The people behind the front desk freaked out. One employee made him sit down in a chair, and then another (who was not from Saudi Arabia) made him lay down on the floor to rest. Once my friend laid down on the floor though, the gentleman began to pump his chest.

(Note: preforming CPR on a fully conscious individual whose heart is beating is actually quite dangerous. Chest pumping in this situation can mess up the rhythm of a beating heart or crack ribs.)

Fortunately, the panicked gentleman was not pumping my friends's chest very deeply at all, just very very rapidly. My friend decided it was more trouble to resist than to just lay down and take it, so the frantic CPR continued.

By this time, the employees were making quite a scene. Some of the passers - by must have thought that my poor friend was on death's door when he was really perfectly calm and conscious. After a few more minutes of CPR, a security guard rushed over to help revive my cognizant friend. That's when things got ugly...

The security guard, seeing the other gentleman doing CPR on my friend, assumed that he must need some air as well, so he immediately began mouth to mouth respiration on my perfectly cognizant, respiring friend. My friend was shocked, to say the least, and began to struggle with the two grown men who were misguidedly trying to save his life.

Fortunately, the paramedics arrived quickly. They must have thought they had a death case to deal with because of the "emergency" aid my friend was unwillingly receiving, but when they peeled the two men off of him and asked for his name and ID number, my friend responded calmly and clearly.

The doctors checked him out and said that the pain was due to muscle cramps, probably because of stress from the test. After taking some muscle relaxers, he left.

The worst part of the experience, my friend said, was the smell of cigarettes on the security guard's breath.

... ... ...

It is only fair to note that the trained medical staff has preformed very professionally in every emergency case I have heard of or witnessed. One of my friends had an acute allergic reaction to milk or egg products in some food he ate and had to stay overnight at the clinic, but he was feeling good enough to go to class the next morning. In another instance, one of my friends dislocated his knee playing sports and was rushed into the clinic less than ten minutes after the emergency call was made. The doctors straightened his leg, put it in a cast, and sent him home in less than two hours.

It's the untrained guys one has to watch out for!


  1. LOL
    it's very funny story and sad at the same time, what a situation!!!
    I think KAUST must offer some CBR courses to all empolyees as well as students to make sure that everything is clear about CBR.
    weather if these tow guys had a CBR course before or not, someone should tell them about their ugly mistakes and correct their thoughts.
    Thanks for sharing, this is made me laugh a lot!

  2. Oops!

  3. : ) Great story! Maybe now you can understand my views on smoking just a bit better ; )

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  5. That's really a funny story all the way!!!
    One thing to remember in an accident or in any emergency situations : DO NOT DO ANYTHING YOU DO NOT KNOW!
    A sacred slogan of our ACLS/BLS instructors. Pretending you know something will only cause injuries or even death to the person you want to save, just like they did to your friend.
    In fairness to the KAUST clinic employees, they had a PALS/CPR (not CBR guys!) training just this month. Hmmm.... Was it because of your blog?
    Well... KAUST nurses, pass it on to all students and employees in your area.
    And prove that you can do it!