Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but once CPR is started you don’t stop unless the patient has been revived and stabilized or declared dead.
For Professional Rescuers
A) If you have formal, professional training you have a duty to act. Stopping CPR before you’re relieved by higher trained personnel can open you up to criminal and civil liability. (Abandonment) For professional rescuers and CPR Instructors like myself, when you touch the patient, the patient belongs to you, not a flight crew. Period. Ceasing medical care inflight to move a patient that’s not in imminent danger will open you up once again to legal repercussions. Convenience, and Privacy Vs Standard of Care. Here’s a Scenario: You immediately begin CPR on a male in the isle for a witnessed cardiac event, while 150 people watch in horror, only to stop CPR for 1-4 minutes to move said patient to a galley. Patient dies. Family is left saddened and angry because they and 145 people witnessed *you* stop continual care. A lawyer would absolutely eat you alive as a professional in court.
For the Layperson
B) The layperson can stop care without legal ramifications due to Good Samaratin laws. While this may seem crazy, of course having CPR Training does train you to resuscitate someone, but until you crack and snap your first rib or attempt to ventilate a patient for the first time, only to give them too much air, entirely too fast with a BVM, filling the stomach with air and have them explosively vomit bile all over you, there’s no way to know how you’d react. Any of those things could make you walk away for a myriad of reasons.
Most 911 Centers across the US have adopted “compression only” for the layperson that calls 911 and gets instructions on what to do. AHA studies have shown that there’s enough residual oxygen in the bloodstream to maintain life for 5-10 minutes of compression only CPR.
It’s important to have a lot of hands around in these events. There’s not a single person on earth that can do proper CPR for 30 straight minutes without switching off between cycles. It’s brutally physical to do it properly over an extended period of time.
Most professional rescuers from the 911 real world know this fact - Be wary of anyone saying “I’m a nurse or doctor”... Caring for a victim that’s been properly packaged by Fire/EMS in a hospital room is vastly different from crude, raw CPR in a stressful situations outside of a medical facility. My rule: No person ever takes my patient away from me until they can prove they’re higher trained than me.
While this may not be the most popular opinion among some on here, trying to drag or carry a patient up an airplane isle to a “private place” could be the exact reason they die. Early CPR saves lives. Early. Seconds matter.
Always remember this tip:
If you do more than 15-20 compressions and you haven’t felt or heard the patient’s ribs break, you’re not doing it hard enough.
Finally from my standpoint as a professional rescuer, I would not allow any patient in cardiac arrest to be drug or carried anywhere, by anyone, on any flight, unless there’s imminent danger. If that means they call law enforcement on me at the gate, so be it. I will absolutely pick and win that battle only because I can legally prove my actions give the patient the highest chances of survival. It’s hard to bring someone back. Really hard. Delaying care will make really hard, damn near impossible. It goes without saying that saving someone's life is the most noble and selfless thing that anyone could ever do.