Making sure that your employees are up to date on their CPR certification is essential, not only to ensure the health and safety of co-workers, but also to help save lives. That being said, nothing in life comes without risk, and it is important to be aware of the risks of CPR and of performing CPR on patients.
Companies need to take proactive steps when considering how they’re managing any risk associated with CPR training and certification in the workplace. Knowing what the potential risks of CPR could be will allow companies to act sooner rather than later, therefore avoiding any serious problems down the line.
Read on to learn more about the risks of CPR and how they could affect your organization so you can ensure you are in the best position for safety and success.
The Risks of Performing CPR
Performing CPR can be a life-saving action, but it’s not without risks. One of the most common risks of CPR is rib fractures, with up to 40% of patients experiencing this complication. Additionally, CPR can cause damage to internal organs, especially if it’s performed on patients with certain pre-existing conditions such as osteoporosis or liver disease. Another one of the risks of CPR is the potential transmission of infection or disease, as performing CPR can expose the rescuer to bodily fluids such as blood, urine, or vomit.
Although the risks of CPR should not discourage people from performing CPR on those in need, it is important to be aware of these potential complications and to take necessary precautions during the procedure. These risks are also why it is so vital that those administering CPR have been properly trained in order to negate as much risk as possible.
In any situation where a physical emergency arises, taking action can be the difference between life and death. Liability risks, however, arise when people shy away from assisting due to lack of training or the fear of causing further harm. This is a serious concern, particularly in situations like heart attacks where prompt response is crucial.
It’s essential to understand that even attempting CPR is better than doing nothing at all. Despite the risks of CPR, there is always the chance that you could save someone’s life, and that is worth the liability risk.
Compliance risks can pose serious consequences for any workplace. One of the risks of CPR in particular is having team members who are not certified or whose safety cards have expired. These lapses could lead to safety dangers, injuries, and accidents. In response, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other relevant organizations mandate that employers maintain training records and provide periodic safety refreshers.
Additionally, employers must ensure that team members are up-to-date with their safety cards and certifications. Failure to adhere to these standards can lead to varied penalties like fines, lawsuits, and other regulatory actions. Therefore, it is crucial for organizations to prioritize and uphold safety standards to maintain a hazard-free work environment.
Do Not Resuscitate Violations
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders aim to honor a patient’s wishes by withholding CPR during a cardiac arrest. When a patient issues a DNR order, it means that they do not want any heroic measures taken to revive them. However, some healthcare professionals continue to administer CPR even when there is a clear DNR order in place. These violations can lead to ethical and legal issues for the healthcare provider, as well as potential emotional distress for the patient’s loved ones.
It is essential that healthcare providers understand the importance of respecting DNR orders and consult with the patient, their family, and the healthcare team to ensure that the patient’s wishes are honored. Awareness and education about DNR violations can help prevent them from happening and ensure that patient care is delivered with compassion and respect. It might not be your initial thought that one of the risks of CPR could be that the patient would not want it, but it is a critical question to keep in mind.
Good Samaritan Act Exceptions
The Good Samaritan Act is a law that protects individuals who provide aid to others in emergency situations. Thus, even with the risks of CPR, it should always be attempted should the need arise. However, there is an exception to this law for healthcare workers. While they are still encouraged to assist those in need, they have a duty to provide a certain level of care due to their professional training and expertise.
Healthcare workers may be held liable if they fail to provide the necessary level of care or if they cause harm due to negligence. As such, those in the medical field should always strive to prioritize the well-being of their patients while also being mindful of the legal and ethical responsibilities that come with their profession.
Risks of CPR: Your Best Path Forward
In conclusion, it’s important to know that while there certainly are risks of CPR, having the skills to know how to save a life should the need occur is crucial. The risks of CPR can be managed and handled; the life of the person in distress is the primary concern.
DNR protocols must be followed repeatedly and reviewed in order to prevent potential violations from occurring, and healthcare workers do have to keep in mind that the Good Samaritan Act does not protect them in the same way as it does other citizens. However, this is standard for healthcare workers, and they learn how to adapt and maintain awareness of these factors during their education.
For general businesses and organizations, it is essential that companies do everything they can to protect the health of their employees and clients by maintaining necessary CPR training and certification. Again, while there are risks of CPR, the reward is great.
Taking the time to educate yourself about the risks of CPR needs to be a matter of importance for all leaders, but investing in CPR safety now before it’s too late is also of vital importance. Staying up-to-date on certifications, compliance laws, and awareness of liabilities lessens the risks of CPR and increases the probability of successful administration.
Get started on your CPR certification or renewal today. If the need arises, you want to be ready.