Saturday, May 14, 2005

Nipple Rings

Whoa. What's that title got to do with sailing?

Let me explain. In the summer I teach a sailing program to kids. And to work on this program I have to be a qualified US Sailing instructor. And to keep my instructor qualification current I have to renew my American Red Cross CPR certification each year.

So on Tuesday evening I showed up for my annual CPR refresher course and exam. The instructor was a really sweet man. A bit gushy - he introduced himself to me twice. He was about my age and was wearing cargo pants with a definite permanent wedgie.

The course was going fine but we began to have doubts when he advised us to keep a teddy bear in the car so we could practice CPR any time we wanted. Hmmm. Then he told us a story about how his "room mate" had saved the life of someone bitten by a black mamba snake. Very useful I am sure but we don't get many black mambas on our lake in New Jersey.

Part of the course was revising how to use an AED - an automated external defibrillator. This involves attaching two pads to the patient's bare chest in order to apply an electric shock. This process really got our man into some interesting areas. He reminded us that, of course, on a woman patient one would need to remove her bra. Fair enough. Then he showed us a glimpse of his hairy chest and pointed out that chest hair would need to be removed, with a dry razor if necessary. "Otherwise the smell can be really bad." Our imagination filled in the rest. Then he really freaked out the class when he reminded us that, if the patient had nipple rings, they would have to be cut off, "Or you might get sparks..." Stunned silence. We thought about that for a minute and then one of the female students asked with a visible shudder, "Cut them exactly?" This really got our friend going - he discussed different gauges of nipple vs stainless steel.....techniques for chopping off the same.... Fascinating stuff.

I just pray that if I ever need to use the AED on one of my teenage female students I won't have to use all my new found knowledge on removal of said rings.


Anonymous said...

This is sort of random, but most nipple rings are closed by a ball with indentations; the ring itself is a pincer holding the ball in place. Quick removal in the field would indicate using a pair of needlenose pliers (or just your fingers) to spread the ring enough for the ball to drop out. Then the ring should slide right out of the nipple.

Anonymous said...

This is the funniest article I've read in a long time. I think anyone with with common sense could tell the instructor didn't haven't a clue what he was talking about when it came to nipple rings.

Anonymous said...

This story load of nonsense. The conducting pads used with AED machines spread the current out over a large area of skin to minimise any surface trauma from the shock. There's absolutely NO NEED to remove anyone's nipple rings in this situation, they don't affect the even distribution of the current over the surface of the pad. If you need to shock a patient, do it NOW, don't wait to decide if you can work out how to remove their jewelry. Graham

Unknown said...

Nipple rings MUST be removed before using an AED. If not, the nipples might literally be blown off.

And regarding the hairy chest: Most AED are equipped with two sets of pads. Apply one pad to the hairy chest and quickly rip it off for fast removal of the hair. Then apply the extra pad.

--ER Technician

Anonymous said...

um lets look at the options here, if u find yourself in a situation that requires the use of an AED, im guessing the patient is in a bad way, do you think the patient would prefer to:
A:Cop some sparks/burning hair smell
B: DIE ???????????

IF U DO NEED TO USE AED AND I HOPE U DONT, JUST FREAKIN DO IT!! trust me if the patient survives he/she wont mind.

Unknown said...

Ya my friend is an EMT and when I went through my professional CPR certification the whole nipple ring came up. He said in that situation you would just rip the rings right out- "the person's dead anyway." And on an adult only 10% chance of survival after CPR is needed, if over 6 mins, 7 mins, the patient is gone.

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