Until Help Arrives

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POSTED IN: EPIC - The Official Newsletter of MOCEP, November/December 2019,

ACEP’s new first responder training program, Until Help Arrives, was officially unveiled during ACEP19 in Denver with a series of events to highlight how emergency physicians can positively impact their communities by conducting training sessions to teach the public basic life-saving skills.

ACEP recently hosted a tele-press conference to release the results of its national poll assessing the emergency preparedness of the average civilian.

The poll results were compelling, indicating that most citizens feel unprepared to step in to assist after a medical emergency. The respondents said the main reason they don’t step in to help is because they are afraid to do more harm than good.

According to poll results, confidence wanes as the emergency gets more severe:

  • 68 percent are not confident to help in the event of a mass shooting.
  • 62 percent are not confident to help if someone’s been shot.
  • 52 percent are not confident to help if someone has stopped breathing.
  • 50 percent are not confident to help if someone is severely bleeding.
  • 48 percent are not confident to help in case of a natural disaster.
  • 47 percent are not confident to help if someone has been in a car accident.

The Until Help Arrives course teaches participants how to assess scene safety, communicate with 911, control severe bleeding with or without a tourniquet and to perform compression-only CPR. The poll results indicated this type of training is sorely needed:

  • 61 percent are unprepared to administer an AED.
  • 51 percent are unprepared to control severe bleeding.
  • 42 percent are unprepared to move an endangered victim to safety.
  • 45 percent are unprepared to apply a tourniquet.
  • 41 percent are unprepared to perform compression-only CPR.

ACEP Past President Paul Kivela, MD, MBA, FACEP, who was instrumental in the creation of the program, said the poll results were surprising to him, especially since some states require CPR training for many public roles. “I was pretty shocked at how few people really feel secure delivering that type of first care.”