A heart attack of a 14-year-old girl, one night in a Scout camp, led to the preparation of a road map for how to plan for a rare, but often fatal, condition.
The case was published in early December in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and EurekAlert wrote about it.
The child, who was in good health, suddenly stopped responding, so someone in the camp pressed her chest to resuscitate her heart when she did not find a pulse, while others sought medical help.
The camp doctor and two nurses arrived at the scene about 4 minutes after cardiopulmonary resuscitation had begun.
As for the emergency medical services, they arrived and used the electric shock device 8 minutes after the girl did not respond, after which they transferred her to the hospital.
Inflammation of the heart muscle
The child was suffering from inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), which is a common cause of cardiac arrest and sudden death in children, and is more common in infants and adolescents.
With the efforts of the person who first noticed the girl's lack of response and the quick action of other camp members, the girl was saved from certain death, and it was confirmed - in the hospital - that she had myocarditis.
When the girl was asked if she had felt any heart symptoms, she said she felt palpitations at intermittent intervals, but she did not feel chest pain or shortness of breath.
Dr. Herbert Brill, a physician in the Department of Pediatrics at McMaster University in Canada, and his colleagues wrote in the published scientific paper that preparing for rare incidents - but severe consequences - is a necessity that must be taken into account, especially in remote places that may need a long response time from Emergency.
He added that the occurrence of heart attacks in children outside hospitals is uncommon, and the reason for this may be the lack of registration of cases that occur, due to lack of registration systems, or fear of legal consequences.
Compression for cardiopulmonary resuscitation
The researchers stressed that this case highlights the importance of early attention and initiation of compression for cardiopulmonary resuscitation outside the hospital, regardless of age.
Medical emergencies are rare in summer camps, but they should be expected as they can be fatal if they occur.
In this case, the societal benefit of widespread CPR education among young people is evident. The person who noticed the child and initiated the resuscitation process had previously received first aid training.
The doctors who wrote the scientific paper recommended training camp workers and adult adolescents on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and securing an electric shock device in an easily accessible place to reduce the consequences of heart attacks in the camps.
According to the Mayo Clinic, CPR is a useful first aid in some cases in which a person's breathing or pulse may have stopped, such as a heart attack or drowning.
The American Heart Association recommends resuscitating the patient with strong, rapid chest compressions.
And if the person is not trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, then he should suffice with pressing his hands on the chest of the injured person at a rate of 100-120 pressures per minute, whether the injured person is a child or an adult.
And if the paramedic is not sure what to do, then calling the emergency department and receiving instructions from them by phone until they reach the site will be of great benefit.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is based on maintaining the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain and vital body systems until the patient receives appropriate medical intervention to restore the heart to normal functioning.
Trying to resuscitate the patient may prevent serious consequences, such as brain damage that may occur within a few minutes, so this attempt to resuscitate, even if the method is not entirely correct, is better than nothing.