I disagree with the contention of the Board of Medical Quality Assurance that the public will be as well protected without an explicit rule governing the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) qualifications of physicians.
Currently, I am an American Heart Assn. CPR instructor and, because I am also a firefighter, I have had the opportunity to administer CPR on countless occasions.
Typically, emergency crews will apply CPR for several minutes before the victim is loaded up for transport to the hospital. Upon arrival at the emergency room we are relieved of our duties by physicians and technicians supposedly well trained in CPR. I can assure you this is not always the case. In fact, I have never seen adequate CPR performed by a physician or any other employee in an emergency room. The CPR instructors and most of the firefighters I work with generally share this same observation.
Needless to say, I feel strongly that the Board of Medical Quality Assurance should not drop its rule requiring certification of physicians in CPR. On the contrary, the board must upgrade, monitor and enforce the CPR requirement so that in the future the public can be assured of receiving correctly applied CPR from emergency room physicians.
RICHARD C. CREIGHTON