First aid and CPR short stories

One of the homework assignments in De Anza College Health classes for certification in first aid or CPR was an optional short story. Excerpts from the best are below.


— A written assignment: Write part of a short story (science fiction, murder mystery,
romance or whatever, your choice), using vocabulary from (“check”) survey the scene,
primary survey and secondary survey in the story in a way that shows you know what the words mean.

Have the hero (or a villain?) check the scene and do a primary survey on one “victim” and a
secondary survey on a second victim – write details. Include the O,P,Q,R,S,T and levels of
consciousness (see study sheets at the end of the greensheet and class lecture).

Typing would be preferred, but clear printing is okay. If you make it too gory I might not be able
to finish reading it and you won’t get credit for it.

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Students have fun with the short story assignment. I’ve been told that some decided to take the class for a letter grade instead of pass/no pass just because they enjoyed this idea of a term paper.

Here are excerpts:

Out of nowhere, a moose, a grizzly bear and a ground squirrel cautiously walked up… the moose opened his mouth and said “Poor dumb human. What is he doing here anyway?” “I don’t know,” replied the grizzly, “but we’d better get that girl over here to administer some first aid.”… I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears. Were they talking about me? I had taken a first aid class a few years ago. In fact, that’s where I had met my boyfriend. But we spent so much time flirting with each other that I didn’t pay attention to the instructor…. My mind was reeling. I knew there were steps I was supposed to take in an emergency situation, but what were they? Oh yes, check for consciousness. The bear already did that. “Oh No, Oh No! Now what? I know! It’s check, check, oh, what’s after check?!?” The bear turned toward me. “Stupid human, don’t make me eat you. It’s check, call, care.”

His pulse and respiration were okay, but a bruise was forming on his forehead. It’s great that I don’t have to do CPR on Dave, she thought– Betty would have a fit–doing it to her date! Betty had been so quick to say UGH when I had told her one day what we had to do in the first aid class.

To think me, V—- L—-, not only famous now for saving someone’s life, but the life of Elvis Presley, someone who had been pronounced dead years ago. The story I am about to tell would seem completely unreal, but if you watch the news you will know it is true….. never having gone to Missouri before …. A 57 Chevy smashed into a tree…..

“Do you feel any numbness or tingling?

“I wish I did.”

“Do you have any medical conditions?”

“Yeah, a weight problem, that and the whole world, outside of Lisa Marie, thinks I’m dead.”

…our Nin-jitsu master lay hidden…quickly pounced on Harold and flipped out, the way that Ninjas do and made Harold unconscious before he knew what happened… the king had taken first aid from his local chapter of the medieval Red Cross…The king checked for pulse at the carotid artery and got an extremely weak pulse. Nicholas stopped there and sighed, thinking it was really one of those days. If only he would have brought his portable Morse code emitter, but no, he wanted to pack light…

…there is nothing in the green sheet to indicate that the term paper for Health 57A cannot be written by the student’s cat…I knew from studying the First Aid material with my human that when an adult is unconscious, it is best to call for help immediately…I spotted the cell phone clipped to her waistband. To my relief, I had reprogrammed her cell phone just the day before so that her emergency speed dial called the local seven digit emergency number rather than 911…While she made the call for help, I checked the ABC’s. I was a little concerned since no medical company makes protective gear for felines, but I decided to take the health risk and give care anyway…Because he fell face down, I didn’t have to worry about keeping his airway open until help arrived. The EMT might “freak” if he saw a cat with one paw pushing the man’s forehead back and one paw under the chin… Besides, without thumbs, I doubted I could do the jaw thrust, either.

I was lying on the floor, happily dozing next to my master’s chair, when she suddenly passed out and slumped to the ground. Now, my master has fallen asleep in her chair before, but this time was different. I could sense that something was terribly wrong. I whined and licked her face, but she didn’t respond…I barked at the cat to call for help. The fat little tabby looked at me like I must be rabid or something, but I reminded her about the button on the phone that we’d seen our master use to call the police when there’d been a breakin next door… I raced to the telephone. I knocked the receiver from the cradle and mashed the button with my paw, hoping I hit the right one. When someone answered “Nine-one-one emergency,” I knew I hit it. ..I barked frantically, wishing I’d learned to speak human.

He reached his destination at 2:30 a.m. It was a house in a remote area, so it was very easy for him to do his burglary…Although he was pretty sure the owners didn’t have an alarm or a dog, he waited patiently at the door for more than a minute before venturing in. It was all a part of his “safe workplace practices”…went straight to the study…hidden safe…triggered the security device… The two men stared at each other for a few seconds…Antony lunged at the other man trying to wrestle the baseball bat out of his hand. Both of them fell to the floor and David hit his head on the door knob…serious damage. Although his first impulse was to get the hell out, a sense of guilt and remorse stopped him…Anthony had taken a first aid course some time back. Being in his profession he figured it would be useful sooner or later. He tried to recall all that he had learned. “Check, Call, Care,” he muttered as it slowly came back to him. His training was going to be put to good use here because soon he was going to get a second person also to care for…”Are you okay, man?”…”Never felt better” came the reply through clenched teeth…”Do you feel any pain?” All he got back was an angry glare. “Look, I am sorry about the breaking in part, but I am trying to help you now.”

Two lightsabers clash in the throne room on the Death Star, as Luke Skywalker and his father, the evil Sith Lord, Darth Vader duel to determine the fate of the Universe…

Vader quickly lay on the floor; his mostly robotic body badly damaged, and what was left of his human flesh, badly injured. Skywalker realizing he had won the duel, saving the universe and restoring peace and balance back to the force, turned his back to his father, Lord Vader, and started to walk away from the scene. Skywalker hadn’t taken more than a couple of steps before he heard a familiar wispy voice in his head, “Luke, save your father”; it was Obi-Wan Kenobi, his old Jedi master. “Use first aid, trust your feelings, Luke”, Kenobi continued to say. Skywalker quickly turned around, to aid his father, but before he ran back, he checked the scene, for safety, making sure no Storm Troopers or Imperial Guards were at the scene. Not seeing any Troopers or Guards, and no one to call for help, as everyone else on the Death Star would like to see him dead, Skywalker ran back to the scene to apply first aid, and hopefully save his father…

Skywalker could see his father had several severe lacerations on his body from Skywalker’s own lightsaber. Putting his gloves on first, he reached into his Jedi Knight first aid kit, pulled out several sterile gauze patches and using the Force applied one patch at a time and rapped it with a bandage, to each injured area…

Skywalker continued … until advanced medical personal arrived. But to no avail, they never arrived. In some ways Skywalker was relieved, as he would have surely been taken prisoner…A few moments later, Anakin passed away in is son’s arms… In trying to save his fathers life, Skywalker successfully helped his father come back to the good side of the Force. In doing so, Skywalker saved his fathers soul and began to restore peace and balance to the Force.



A written assignment: Write part of a short story (science fiction, murder mystery,
romance or whatever, your choice). Have the hero (or a villain?) check the scene, check
an unconscious victim and perform CPR on a victim. Use vocabulary and skills steps
from checking an unconscious victim (pages 11, 12) signals of a heart attack (page 40),
continue CPR (page 43) and CPR steps from the skills card, in the story in a way that
shows you know the material. If you highlight the vocabulary words you use in yellow
you will be able to more easily see if you remembered to use all of them and I will be
able to more easily grade your story.

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“Dear Prof. Donahue:

I regret to inform you that I was unable to do the optional writing assignment described in the
course syllabus as required for an A in the class. You see, I was on my way to the open media
lab at De Anza when I heard a scream come from a classroom I was walking past.” (checked the
scene, the victim, had a bystander call 911, opened airway… CPR… rescue breathing…)

“Sadly, by the time I got to the media lab I only had enough time to write up this explanation
letter.. My short story was going to be an excellent revision of Hamlet in which Prince
Fortinbras attempts to save the dying Hamlet’s life by expertly performing CPR on him, only to
fail (because Hamlet was stabbed by a poison-tipped sword) and then claim the throne of
Denmark. Sadly, I did not have the time to write it all up. It would have been awesome, though.”

“The AT&T Pro AM was in full swing and I knew I would get close to HIM … As the throngs gathered around the ninth green, I edged down the fairway towards the tee. ..The sea of spectators parted and there they were, it would only be a matter of time and I would be just feet away, would HE notice me…

… The ball arches in a lazy hook, over the sand trap, into the rough just to the left of me. Oh
my God… Kevin Costner was going to be standing right by me. As he approached, I could feel my pulse racing… I was so glad I had not taken that CPR class this weekend.

As he stood there, waiting to hit his next shot, there was a chorus of “fores” in the air and I saw a ball flash past the corner of my eye and smack Kevin directly in the head. He slumped forward and crumpled to the ground.

Someone yelled, “he’s stopped breathing… does anyone know CPR”, I watched helplessly as a young lady rushed forward, she quickly made sure the area was clear and safe around my poor Kevin, then leaned over and started checking my hero. She then tapped his shoulder and shouted to see if there was any response … call 911… She happened to be a nurse, and have with her some gloves and a breathing barrier for protection. … She continued to apply CPR, rechecking the pulse and giving him chest compressions, until the paramedics arrived and took over upon which they used the AED.

Then all I could see was the paramedics working on KEVIN, they attached the pads on his upper right chest and lower left side, and by plugging the electrode cable into the AED, they delivered an electric jolt by pushing the shock button.

Slowly the color returned to his cheeks and he was breathing on his own. As he regained consciousness. All cheered, as I cried. If only I had taken CPR before, it could have been me, it could have been me.”

“Mike and Ted were eating at their favorite restaurant, called the Check-Call-Care Cafe after they got done surfing. Both were exhausted and were about done with their meal when Mike
noticed that Ted’s skin had been pale for some time. He thought he had just eaten a cockroach, but he then noticed that his breathing had suddenly quickened.

“Dude, Ted. You alright man, you look like someone just smashed your board in half.”

“Naw, I’m alright, just my arm hurts like a….” Ted’s face then winced in pain… Ted suddenly gripped his chest and keeled over onto the floor… Any other mortal surfer would have panicked in a situation like this, but Mike knew what to do next because he was an avid fan of the most medically accurate show on
television, ER. He also knew that Ted’s survival depended on early recognition and access, early
CPR, early defibrillation, and early advanced life support. After Mike determined that the scene
was safe, he then leaped down to see how his buddy was.

“Dude, wake up! You alright? You’re not alright,” Mike said as he tried to nudge Ted back to consciousness. “Hey you!” Mike yelled to the waiter, “go call 911, my buddy’s taken a spill. I have an unconscious adult! You better come back and tell me when they’re gonna get here.”

So the first thing that Mike remembered from ER was that cute brunette who was the daughter of the pneumonia patient. The second thing he remembered was ABC, or check for airway, breathing, then circulation. … gave him two rescue breaths. Mike saw Ted’s chest rise and fall.

“Well you finally took something I gave you,” Mike grumbled to himself. “Now when I bring you back to life you can gimmie that 50 bucks you owe me.”

Next, sliding his fingers down from the adam’s apple, Mike checked the carotid artery for a pulse for 10 seconds.

“You stupid surfer, you forgot your pulse.” Ted was always forgetting things but not like this. … It was a good thing Mike worked out, because it was pretty hard for him to push in Ted’s chest two inches. But he kept his arms straight, put his shoulders directly over his hands, and pushed down with his bodyweight.

“Man, one thing you gotta do when you get better is lose some weight.” said Mike.

… cycles of compressions and breaths until EMTs arrived… AED…Mike was about to dig into Ted’s wallet to get his 50 bucks back, when the EMTs told him to wait until they got to the hospital. It was just another exciting day in the lives of two average surfers.”


See also:

The Day I Saved the Governator