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CPR Training - Update needed to save lives


Girl swimmer, 16, died after 'wrongly trained' lifeguard stopped CPR thinking she had saved her life

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:53 PM on 25th February 2010

A 16-year-old swimming star was left to die on a poolside because a poorly trained lifeguard wrongly believed she had saved her life, an inquest heard today.

Sophie Konderak suffered a cardiac arrest moments after starting a training session and was dragged unconscious to the poolside.

Lifeguard Katy Butler began mouth-to-mouth and chest compressions and believed she had saved Sophie after she started breathing again.


Swimming star: Lifeguards left Sophie Konderak to die after wrongly believing they had saved her life

But she crucially did not check for a pulse - to determine whether the heart had restarted and was circulating oxygenated blood - and unwittingly left her to die on the wet floor.

Paramedics arrived four minutes later and attempted to save Miss Konderak’s life, only to be asked by one of the lifeguards, ‘Why are you doing CPR? She's alive’, the hearing was told.

The ambulance crew tried to revive Miss Konderak with a defibrillator but she was pronounced dead shortly afterwards at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

The inquest in Leicester was told that lifeguards at Braunstone Leisure Centre in Braunstone, had been given insufficient training to administer CPR correctly.


Braunstone Leisure Centre's lifeguards had received 'insufficient training'

Recording a narrative verdict, Leicester and South Leicestershire coroner Catherine Mason called for sweeping changes to resuscitation training in the UK.

Miss Konderak’s mother, 46, broke down in tears and cried out: ‘It's my child's life, why didn't anybody do anything. How could you just leave her lying there?

‘She would have survived.’ 

Miss Konderak’s parents John, a roofer, and Lesley, an accounts clerk issued a damning statement after the inquest.

It read: ‘The inquest has found that Sophie's life could have been saved. The shortfall in the level of training and equipment contributed to this.

‘We hope the coroner's recommendations will lead to an improvement in lifesaving training and no further lives will be lost.’

The inquest heard how Miss Konderak swam seven times a week for two hours with the Leicester Penguins Swimming club at leisure centre.

But she had an undetected heart condition called Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy which caused fatty tissues to build up in her right ventricle.

Miss Konderak’s heart 'short circuited' moments into her training session on September 15, last year and sent her into a sudden cardiac arrest.

Leicester City Council lifeguard Miss Butler told the inquest she was not told to check the pulse and to stop CPR once breathing has resumed.

She said: ‘I couldn't live with myself if there was something more that I could have done.

‘If a person is breathing we're told to stop CPR and put them into the recovery position.’ 

Heart expert Dr Christopher Duke from Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, slammed the training and said Miss Konderak ‘would have survived’ if she had received continuous CPR.

He said: ‘You don't stop resuscitation just because a patient appears to be breathing.

‘You only stop if there’s breathing and a pulse.

‘They got her out of the pool quickly but there's a gap in how she was treated that's crucial. If she had correct CPR then she would have survived.’ 

Coroner Mrs Mason said she would write to the Resuscitation Council of the UK to ask it to amend its training guidelines to include checking for a pulse.

She said: ‘Basic life support was given but not continued. This decision was made in accordance with training.

‘Had continual CPR been given, earlier defibrillation could have been administered and on the balance of probabilities she could have survived.

‘The crucial point of this is that the CPR was stopped.

‘The guidelines should be changed so that from when CPR is commences it is conducted until a medically qualified person arrives or the patient regains consciousness.’ 


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1253701/Girl-swimmer-16-died-wrongly-trained-lifeguard-stopped-CPR-thinking-saved-life.html?ITO=1708&referrer=yahoo#ixzz0gZCdT4nd

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