WhyBike Motorcycle Blog

What your gear choices say about you

By James - 1/14/2007

While doing some research I came across an article about motorcycles and CPR titled “Must you do it?“.

“MUST you perform CPR if you know how and it is apparent that it is needed? Let me bring this into clear focus for you: You find someone that is DEAD and believe you could revive him using CPR. Must you try?

My OPINION is that nothing - no law, no moral obligation, no ‘contract’, and no force of nature - forces you to perform CPR.”

I was a bit shocked that someone would have such a cowardly view, especially a so-called biker and MSF instructor. I gave him the benefit of a doubt, maybe he is just covering his ass in this litigious society, so I read on . . .

“If you happen upon a motorcyclist who appears to be a victim of a motorcycle accident and that person is not wearing a helmet, you have EVERY RIGHT to conclude that since he is so cavalier about his safety when riding a motorcycle he may well also be cavalier about wearing condoms. Maybe that’s true, and maybe it’s not true, but you have the right to decide NOT TO ADMINISTER CPR for whatever reason you choose, including that one.”

This really shocked me. You have no right to look at a rider’s gear and assume that he has a death wish. Most cagers make this same false assumption about all motorcyclists. But the final conclusion that Mr. Davis comes to, that you have every right not to help a downed biker, “for whatever reason you choose” is a sad commentary on the values of a lot of people.

According to a handful of studies I found, no one has ever transmitted HIV during CPR. According to TulsaCPR

“The probability that a rescuer will become infected with either the AIDS or hepatitis virus as a result of performing CPR is minimal. There have been no cases to date of transmission of AIDS or hepatitis during mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. If you are still concerned, there are face masks and shields available that you can place over the victim’s mouth to provide a physical barrier during mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Some of these are small enough to be carried on your keychain.”

You are more likely to contract a disease while treating a cut than giving CPR. Regardless, you cannot tell if someone is sick by looking at them. I am in awe of Mr. Davis’ ability to predict people’s medical history from the gear a motorcyclist choses to wear. Is wearing sneakers while riding a predictor of dyslexia? Does not wearing a back protector tell potential rescuers that I am lactose intolerant? Are you afraid you might contract these while providing medical care? I wonder whether he would help ANYONE who does not share Mr. Davis’ “healthy” completion.

I am not a masochist, I understand the fear of ill health or lengthy lawsuits. But an irrational fear based on ignorance is bigotry. Someone who half-asses it when another biker is hurt is cowardly and selfish scum. Mr. Davis, I can assure you that if you are ever hurt and I am passing by, I will stop and do everything I can to help. I hope you can pick up some $5 CPR safety products and rejoin the human race.

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