Basic life support for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities
Andrea Page Senior lecturer in clinical skills and simulation/learning disabilities, Birmingham City University
Stefan Cash Programme director, Child Health Registration Programme, Child health work at Birmingham City University
Specific training in resuscitation should be available to give carers and staff the confidence to act in life-threatening situations, argue Andrea Page and Stefan Cash
Those who care for people with learning disabilities must be able to manage a choking situation and possibly carry out basic life support. This involves maintaining airway patency and supporting breathing and the circulation, without the use of equipment other than a protective device for mouth-to-mouth ventilation.
Basic life support may be necessary in various other circumstances, most notably cardiac arrest. The difficulties specific to the resuscitation of people with severe learning difficulties or physical deformities require appropriate training for their carers.
The authors invite correspondence from readers interested in current discussions about the possible development of such training, which at present appears to be lacking.
Learning Disability Practice. 14, 6, 28-30. doi: 10.7748/ldp2011.07.14.6.28.c8619